Each evening at Oracle 2022, our leaders gathering held in Potosi, Missouri, we gathered around “Grandfather Fire” to offer gifts of poetry, story, drumming, movement, and song. The following was offered by Illuman of Indiana-Michigan Convener Mike Whitman.
The Hudsons and the Scotts
Michael W. Whitman
I walked toward the sound,
The sound of rushing water,
Roaring in the distance.
The journey led by sidewalk
And soggy soil,
Through cedar scented air.
I happened upon wild onions,
Little tufts of green growing upward,
And tinier blue/purple flowers,
The onions reminded me of myself,
In my college body,
With all its longings, fears, and anxiousness.
And the flowers –
Somehow of dying.
I walked the surface of the dam top.
A painted sign pointed to danger,
The rush of the water over the spillway
And the rocks below –
In its mad and raging song.
Sign and path directed me,
Down the hill and to the right.
In an overgrown place of daffodils,
And an ancient dead tree,
Enclosed by a rail fence,
I met the Hudsons and the Scotts.
Pioneers of this lonely valley
In a time long ago.
Their eroding grave markers told of sentimental feelings,
And deeper losses.
I wandered among them,
And listened to their tales.
They seemed glad to be remembered
As I read and spoke their names.
Glader still that someone,
After so long,
Heard their hidden, sad, and treasured stories.
Time called me back,
And I wandered away –
Thinking of my own end time.