new poem / Michelle Red Elk

my own boat has been shouldered years
now it sails out
old branches scrape the bottom
remember
but I glide seamlessly through
the water’s edge glitters gold
leaves, on the surface
big power day
my eyes catch hands of spirits and backs of turtles
the turtles clear my path
and push forth their medicine
which they owe me
their own old hearts know my name
and watch over my vision
they have come along, from way back
from the original dream
from the winding roads of Adams County
where I ferried them over the road
where hill slides brought me
face to face
with their powerful medicine
the turtle has given me enough each time
has brought the power back to my hands
has sheltered me
stronger than straight arrows
our hearts collide
my boat moves on, moves past, moves into
the shadowed turtle dips for cover into me

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