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shrine

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In a sacred, woodland shrine

I sat with spirits

of another age —

braves, elders and chiefs

at the summer hunting ground.

of the Mississauga tribe

(A nomadic people,

some of them moved south

to join the Cherokee.)

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I asked nothing of them

but, vowed to respect the sanctity of their land

and tribal customs.

Observing my open, lonely heart

they bade me follow them

to a clearing

I’d never before seen.

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Standing there

was a beautiful princess

with eyes of onyx and raven hair.

Long grass swayed

silver in the moonlight

Her fingers brushed the tips of the blades.

We talked —

she bade me follow.

I have followed ever since.

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