One Song at a Time
by Janeka Ausmus
You told me of our people’s creation story:
who rose up from the ground,
spread seeds over the land,
the source of tobacco and corn.
Singing the world into life,
one song at a time,
the sisters created mothers,
even grandmothers, you said
on hot days when we tended the garden
full of warm tomatoes and fresh lettuce.
Between soft dirt and yielding
sky, you told me
of our feminine beginnings,
of nature’s protector, Mother Earth.
She is among us, you testified,
in the dirt and sky, wind and tree.
You explained that we still worship her
even if others think we are crazy.
When I asked again, why,
Mother Earth never closes her ears
to the voices of our people.