Poem: Mni Wiconi
She pushes a cart full of plastic bundles,
in an Irish mist—far from its origin.
And we cross together.
I pause at the next red light,
eager to get back to the protest,
but she appears to have arrived.
Here, on the corner,
under the old pink roller coaster,
in the shade of a bush, she is
at home in the shadows and sunlight.
I ponder her destination;
start drawing conclusions,
about life and all its pushes and pulls;
but I am distracted, by her most amiable smile.
She laughs, with hand gestures to match,
as if in deep conversation with a lover,
a kindred spirit, a truly known friend,
or a chill God, not hiding in the bush
but more probably leaning against it . . .
. . . invisible, maybe?
. . . smoking perhaps?
But just being with us, though,
not demanding our respect.
She notices my staring and calls,
“Hey, baby. You have beautiful hair.”
So now the conversation is three-way.
“I love your smile.” I say,
thinking how we are both
being grateful for His creation,
both worshiping (in a
offering sort of way), both engaging
in a powerful prayer dance
of ancient origins.
I think that this means there is hope.
He will tell us for sure, if we ask Him,
when we see Him (or when we don’t).
Surely He will lift us, wipe our tears,
and walk with us; purify our hearts,
our homeland, and our water.