The Tribe


What are you?

We are, proud wagers of a waning world. We are, the dust of seven skies.

Yes, yes.

We are, the One and Only Tribe and we speak the land because it doesn’t know without us.

Yes, yes. What are you not?

We are not, the fliers overhead whom we won’t see and won’t hear and won’t speak. When they come for their pinpricks we hold out our arms and erase them a moment later. We are not their food or their water. We are not their impacts and blazing clouds.

Yes, yes.

We are not, their howls in the night or their tearing of the days. They are not of the Tribe and they nest afar.

Ah? She makes the sound of incompleteness.

We are not, anything but dust and wagers. We are, the life here.

Yes, yes.

We are, the Tribe.

Yes.

And then the teacher smiles widely and gives them their long-awaited shell necklaces. She stands tall and proud as she watches them go, like the last elephant waiting in the pass. The last remembering.

*

Elizabeth Cook, 2015

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