boodwe minwaa bemaadziwin (making a fire and life)



between thumb and fore finger i grip

a sliver of flint rock and yellow birch fungus

with a high grade steel file i strike

the jagged edge of the black sleek rock

sparks fly in all directions

fireworks were once a dream too, i imagine

long ago, those from where the sun rises are making a fire

observing with the patience it requires to listen with spirit

learning how to harness these sparks

and make it explode in many directions


dreams take imagination


a spark settles on the yellow sponge body existing for this moment, the ember spreads

transforming to a red glow with quick movements i place the fungus into the middle

of a bird’s nest created with dead grass, dry leaves, and sticks

this ember wishes for more air so i dig deep

inhaling and exhaling over and over again

till that once little spark catches and smoke rises in wisps and waves

water breaks through squeezed eyes

the heat grows in the nest of my hands

in that moment before i inhale my next breath i remember


a young woman learning of a blossoming seed

a quickening in the womb as hands embrace fertile ground

as breath connects with breath

there is a fire inside

and those first sparks become a heartbeat



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