Yet more fun with the LPP…
The boy is a blue lily, a hardy perennial.
Over time he may become hard oak,
ruler in a kingdom of green, or perhaps chicory,
conquering the world crack by endless crack.
The other boy, an arrow, a cactus, copper
hammered and burnished by the fist of God.
He dreams his spirit harbors in the Joshua tree.
Ancient Spirits track him, wait for him.
Little boy blue on the run from an angry mob,
culled from the herd in South Philly,
run to ground in Needles, California.
Sheltered by cousins,
with no guarantee of survival,
he is yet another refugee for the desert.
The parents, whose vista is outlined
by frosted, air conditioned windows
hope that sun, sand, exposure will
hammer a hard, sharp edge onto his Catholic guilt and
burnish his soft, off-center spirit into a holy weapon.
The boy wants nothing more than to meet a real Indian.
The boy who is copper
slips a delicate hand between cactus needles,
tenderly he lifts the flower, a jewel thief, an artist.
The prize is for his grandmother, a storyteller,
whose words are hope and sadness for the people,
a respite from liquor and fry bread,
a way to rejoice and mourn in the same breath.
Sometimes, when his old shiichoo tells stories
he cannot find the difference between legend and real.
When asked to explain, Grandmother’s eyes become tight with mystery,
“They are the same.”
Then she fills the room with her toothless smile and everyone laughs.
The boy wants nothing more than to understand the difference.
When the blue Chevy Impala crosses the reservation boundary
no one else in the car seems to notice.
The blue boy leans hard against the door, it opens,
the heat steals his breath, the current rips off his clothes and
yanks him into the air, now he belongs to the wind.
The blue sky reflects in his eyes, spirals deep into his iris,
fills him with light, blue light that shoots from his fingertips, his toes,
from every strand of hair on his head. He becomes the sky,
he is the light. Sweeping across the reservation the light
pierces through the heart everyone it touches. It is renegade.
Beyond his control, the light crashes past windows and doors, engulfs
houses, trailers, the trading post. Old bones of animals, people
float over the land then pass out of sight. When the light finishes,
when it’s journey has covered the reservation in a blue glow,
red light slips up the slope of the horizon, swallows the day in twilight…
The car crunches to a halt in the gravel parking lot.
Ish-Kay-Nay watches a blue car ease onto the gravel
from the highway blacktop. The red sky begins to show it’s purple heart.
Bats launch into the nightly feast of mosquitos.
Coyote plays one last trick before he steals the sun,
the car with it red and white lights trails a streak of blue in its wake.
Ish-Kay-Nay hears the familiar sound of a car door slam.
The light goes out.