The Rainbow Warriors at Dawn

14th Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes
July 1-7, 1985, Mark Twain Forest, Missouri



I stepped
through a sleeping camp
of rainbow warriors at dawn,
my brother and I
going down to carry water from the spring.

They lay
like other sleeping creatures
inattentive in the early light,
scattered in the leaves along our path
travelling each
through a forest of shadows
toward morning.

We pass
a second time, climbing back
with our full buckets.

At the top of the ridge
here and there a warrior sits attentive
as the sun climbs
and the valley opens:
dewdrops on the wildflower petals,
mist rising from the circle below
where the dancing has flattened down the grass.

At the Crystal Teahouse
we find a sleepy gathering of warriors.
Some are early travellers.
Some have been up with us
stoking the campfire with cigarettes
and constellations all night,
stirring rainbows
out of sassafras and moon—

It's morning.
We start the tea.