First Nation

Bob Raintree works at odd-jobs
He’s handier than most
He’s good with wood
And good with grass
He drives a mean fence-post
His hands relate an outcast’s fate
So cracked and dry and scarred
No rest for him
Most days are grim
His childhood too was hard.
But once his folks caressed the land
As Mother to us all
And watched the seasons pass with joy
By wood or waterfall
And tilled the earth
For speckled corn
And watched the red-tail soar
And shot the deer respectfully
And trapped for winter’s store.

Bob Raintree scarce remembers
A show of kind respect
Or hand in hand
Or listening ear
It’s mostly just neglect.
He hears the talk
As pale men squawk
Of “drunken injun’s thirst”
They don’t recall
He held it all
His people placed here first.

Friday’s Strange Relief


This is the Day

The world stood still

At noontime dark and dread

And Goodness hung

Upon a cross

And Power wished Him dead.

The trip to town

Was filled with mirth

As pilgrims praised the One

Who spoke of Light

And second birth

And called Himself God’s Son.

They watched Him heal

Absolve the sin

They knew His ways were kind

How quickly had

They lost their zeal

To leave this Prince behind.

And so the worst

Of church and state

Had bound the Son in chains

To paint a cross

With His dear blood

To lose their sun in rains.

As if Jews’ God

Were frowning then

And words long spoke come true

How blameless blood

Would staunch sin’s flood

Isaiah’s words o’erdue.

His groans were deep

Their mocking sharp

A Mother held His eyes

A thief nearby

Who hung for crime

Would hear of Paradise.

And then the lapse

His breath released

His finished work so strange

Could mankind guess

In just three days

That everything would change?