Monday, December 1, 2014

"Walking Back"

There are so many puzzles
that you left me, grandfather
At times I can feel your heart
But I have so many questions

Who were your parents?
What village did you come from?
What happened to your people?
What was going on at the time?

When did you leave exactly?
How did you meet your wife?
Where did she come from?
How was your union received?

Did you see the horrors of war?
Were you close to the destruction?
Did the trauma touch you?
Was that part of why you left?

What did you tell your children?
How did your wife feel?
Did you tell them stories?
Did you tell them about their grandparents?

Did they ask you hard questions?
Did they learn any of your language?
Did they ask you to take them to visit your home?
Did they want to know the people?

I know you did what you believed was necessary
to survive and to provide for them
You didn't understand what you had lost
You thought you were doing best

I know you wanted them to prosper
You wanted them to have opportunities
You didn't want them to suffer
You wanted them to be happy

You sacrificed for them
You worked hard for them
You lived to make their lives better
You gave your everything for them

Thank you, grandfather
Wado, Eduda

I heard that in great age
you once came to the aid
of a young relative in trouble
and walked him to Indian country

I don't know what became of him
Nor do I know what became of you
I don't even know where your grave is
Did you ever return from that trip?

How did you feel going to your people?
Did you make it to see them?
Did you lay down to rest among them?
Was going there a longing in your heart?

Perhaps now I am taking that walk
I feel like I am walking with you
Walking back to be with our people
Though I wish you would speak more

I wish you could tell me
Where to look
What to look for
Who to talk to

I know you are in me, Eduda
Just as I was in you
I know you are with Unetlanvhi
and so you are also with me

I know I am not alone
But I look and wonder
at this strange country we walk
Where are we going, grandfather?

We are going to meet our people
We are going to join our people
Can I see the map, grandfather?
Can you tell me why we're taking this way?

I must trust Unetlanvhi
He is leading us, you say.

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