Blood Remembers

Sunlight filtered through the fingertips of trees reaching to the heavens. I was lying in the grass, bathing in the sun, like the turtle stretched out on the flat grey rock in the center of the pond. Searched my skin and saw my shell glittered brilliantly as his. I'm shining, painted in my sleep... I must be waking.

Shhh, whispered the turtle sunning on the rock. I haven't finished.

The trees were laughing, listen to old turtle, boy, and rolled me on my back, brushing off the insects critter-crawling on my legs, arms, and face. The large cottonwood with pearl teeth bent down and whispered in my ear, reached one long fingertip down.

What did that old tree whisper in my ear?

"Boy Indian,

you must watch your horses.

A horse thief


am I."

Crazy laughing tree helps me to my feet and tries teaching me to dance. Hold still the turtle whispers from the rock, you're almost done. But it's pearl tree's fault and I can't stop dancing or laughing or moving each foot to the beat.

What did that old tree whisper in my ear?

"Blood remembers,

boy, your blood remembers

moves you never knew."


words: Jared Ward, Arkansas (more)
image: Peter Schwartz, Maine (Sitrah Ahra)


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