SHAMAN’S HEART

SHAMAN’S HEART

Two centuries back I look down at legs
covered with buckskin white as whitest sand

In the valley below are the tepees

I go home my wife rises to greet me
I speak her name
like water laughing over small stones

Feel full and more with a love for her
as warm as the sumer dawn
strong as my manhood rising

I am a chief and the son of a chief
not brave enough to deny
the life of a brave

Though Shaman at heart
not Shaman enough to break
the heart or the will of my father

I hang by my flesh at a sundance
and lead the young men to war

Say goodbye to my wife and babe in her arms
ride off to the folly of a raid with no cause

As spirit rises from body
my enemies honour my courage
cut my heart from my chest and eat it

Neither friend – nor foe – nor father know
it is not the heart of a brave