Raven Stole Seag­ull’s Story

Af­ter Ed­ward S. Cur­tis’s Kwak­waka’wakw dancers with Ha­masta masks, 1914. Photo.

Prairie Fire - - ANGELA REBREC -

Don’t be suprised when you re­al­ize you’ve fallen

in love with Raven. His hu­mour is low-brow

but you smirked just the same. It’s not your fault he stole

Seag­ull’s sun with a wink and a nudge,

the bent­wood box smashed in one cor­ner

of the long­house, both birds squat­ting as if en­gaged

in a show­down, a mil­lion miles apart.

Raven pushed more than one thorn

into Seag­ull’s foot to bring light into the world,

to un­latch the first day, cracked open

like a mus­sel air-dropped to rocks be­low.

Raven’s au­dac­ity waltzes about your heart,

blows like plas­tic bags along the beach,

whis­pers its out­ra­geous heresy: My spirit is free.

You can’t help but be en­am­oured.

So hold Raven’s story close un­til you’re ready

for day­light to fall like a nod, for night to take

the shape of a feather, but what­ever you do,

don’t let Seag­ull see you gather it back into his cedar box,

his yel­low eye trans­fixed on your af­fec­tion for Raven,

on the lunch bag be­side you on the drift­wood bench.

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