My neighbors and I played down by the two deep ponds, circled by hedges
warnings unheeded, crashing through nettles into leach infested waters
our Gallic faces screaming in delight at frog spawn and plump lily pads
one sister, a redhead with gap-tooth grin, the other darker, like late season honey
who knew then? Among the crags of the PyrΓ©nΓ©es-Orientales, with their Catalan tongues
we’d split and divide like wheat, losing touch, floundering each, to find our way
as kids, our favorite game was building tepees, wearing feathered headdresses
many years later, sitting in a park in Ontario, I met an Ojibwe mistreated by the state
we sat beneath banners and he told me his Algonquian speaking father was full blood
how his people killed their Inuit neighbors and lost their totem in broken alliances
from this he said, they learned, honesty is the only worth a man possesses
his mother was a French migrant, from Perpignan, on the Spanish border
the very same town I first learned to dance, to make it rain, or so I pretended
I wondered, if somehow fate had flung herself in strange arrowed pathways
all leading back to tepees and kind men, who felt mercy without recompense
since I left and became an immigrant, the gentlest souls I have met, carried
Native American blood in their full cheeks and mercy in their hearts
reminding me of daubing my own face with white stripes and how
we never had cowboys or guns in our games, just long striped feathers
and the goodness of children.
(For B, Mark, Jean, Crystal, Lane & Jack, who carry the blood and make it count).

37 Replies to “Full circle”

  1. “…who felt mercy without recompense…”
    It is a soul lit by the Spirit who lives this way. And the Obijwe man was right about honesty being a human’s true worth. Beautiful poem, Candice.

  2. I found myself hoping that that man’s mother would turn out to be one of your childhood friends, but still, from the same town is remarkable. Thanks for a beautiful evocation and message.

  3. I remember summers of climbing up trees, running in hay fields, climbing onto the balls at the end of a long work day, or building imaginary fortresses in the barn where they were stacked.
    I remember springs and autumns of playing in the forest, building ‘house’ with branches and pretending we’d built a fire.
    I remember winters of sliding through fields of snow, our hearts singing with a warmth that escaped fingers and toes.
    Thank you for these memories!

  4. I’m so glad you had those memories! They really are important aren’t they? It sounds beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful than playing as a child. xo Thank you so much for reading my friend

  5. Dearest LuAnne, thank you so very much for your lovely comment I really appreciated it – I’m so glad it was hopeful as that was the intention. Thank you again!

  6. Oh, you’re most welcome! I wish I could do it more regularly!
    (It’s been a busy week though…)
    There is indeed nothing more beautiful than playing as a child. Carefree. Time standing still… I wish my children could have more of that.
    I copied my comment and am going to post it, after some tweaking probably… πŸ˜‰
    Thank you!

  7. I love this, Candice. As a child in the 1950’s kids were always playing “cowboys and Indians” (the latter not politically correct anymore)…. and I always wanted to be the Indian princess. Have always identified with Native Americans and once had a vivid past life vision which convinced me that I either have some NA blood, or did in a past life. I feel a lot of anger for how “we” were treated.
    Thank you for the opportunity to get that out! ❀️

  8. You ARE the Indian princess πŸ™‚ You probably have some NA blood I’m sure of it (those cheekbones give it away) I wish I had! But alas not a drop as no relative of mine has ever been in the US. I have no asian blood either. And that’s some good DNA! I realized the people who helped me as an immigrant were all NA and it just struck me one day!

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