NaPoWriMo Day 5 (Brianna)

(What I’m up to.)

Thanks, everyone, for the encouraging comments! They’re very motivating.

Mary, I put Kamloops and Osoyoos in there specifically for you!

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, II

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, II

Walking the lip of the jump, I notice a tree
a ways off the path, a scraggly, wind-wracked,
haphazard excuse for a tree, still leafless
for the most part, and cold-looking.
Bits of bundled fabric—frayed, sun-faded, more like rags
than ribbons—hang in its branches. They seem somehow eerie,
like abandoned toys, or Christmas lights no one bothered
to take down. It sticks in the back of my mind.
As I leave I mention it to the Blackfoot girl at the desk.
The asking makes me shy, like an intruder. She glances away
and says the tree is sacred. It holds offerings and prayers
to the ancestors, so that they can use this place. Does that tree
cover for me? Or could I, in all fairness, trip and fall
over the jump, that wind that frays the fabric
fanning out my hair, before my skull splits
on the kill ground, brains white as cloud, falcon food.

2 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo Day 5 (Brianna)

  1. The juxtaposition of the narrator’s first guess (abandoned toys/leftover holiday debris) against the actual function of the tree (deliberate, sacred offerings) makes me shiver — I’d love to see you do more with that.

  2. Ah, Osoyoos! Just joking.

    The name in the title is wonderful, but you knew I’d say that.

    I have to second Peg: that juxtaposition between the two (world)views of the tree is worth mining more.

    I wanted to run with the ending motion but got hung up on “cover”; does the speaker mean to ask if the tree also absolves [her] actions? I would assume not, unless the speaker has added to the tree’s decorations?

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