Going Across


Evelina Zuni Lucero

(In memory of my brother, Ken, who crossed to the other side)

Across the river muddy brown, going am I
Silent, powerful, steady moves it
Holding all memories in murky depths
Flowing past fields of corn and alfalfa
now lying cold, yet waiting and listening in winter beds.
Across the river going am I
At my back the wind it is,
Chasing clouds swift as painted ponies across the darkening sky

From the mother village going am I
Holds she the people close to her breast
Keeping them warm in the comfort of nearness she does.
Singing a song at my back, the wind it is
Toward the fields go I
The fields so cold and quiet,
waiting to receive the seed they do;
Bursting through the earth, warm and moist,
Rising up to greet the sun in spring,
The seed it will

Going across am I
From the other side turn I to look
And seeing the sun slip down
in a blaze of red deep as blood splashes it upon the pony sky.
Ke-beh-mohe-wue-wui. I will see you again, say I
Singing a song at my back, the wind it does
Sending my hair flying like the mane of a pony

Going Across have I
Turn I south down the valley
  Darkness it holds me, no fear have I
    Going Across have I.

From Returning the Gift, Joseph Bruchac, ed., Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994
© 2004 Evelina Zuni Lucero

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