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  • Jennifer Lighty

Poem To My Lost Ancestors




In search of faith I come again to the forest,

Lay my hollow bones among the ferns.

Look up at light that has traveled far from the sun;

Touch my face, soothe my shame, accept my secrets.

I lay my hollow bones among the ferns,

Longing for tenderness.

Touch my face, soothe my shame, accept my secrets

So I can trust again.

Longing for tenderness,

I surrender my doubt to the shadows

So I can trust again

The path my ancestors followed over oceans and mountains.

I surrender my doubt to the shadows,

Chant my name to the wind.

The path my ancestors followed over oceans and mountains

Always leads to the source of water.

Chant my name to the wind,

I run with wild horses into the clouds,

Always to the source of water.

I have seen myself in the eyes of a newborn foal.

I run with the wild horses into the clouds.

Sometimes I think I will die from loneliness.

I have seen myself in the eyes of a newborn foal,

Hesitant at the edge of a clearing.

Sometimes I think I will die from loneliness,

Remembering how the mare licked the caul off her newborn,

Hesitant at the edge of a clearing.

What am I waiting for to walk through?

Remembering how the mare licked the caul off her newborn,

In need of a place to rest after centuries on the run,

What am I waiting for to walk through?

Let the fern light anoint my skin like holy water.

In need of a place to rest after centuries on the run,

Gold spores dust me with spells;

Let the fern light anoint my skin like holy water,

I flow in the river’s heart.

Gold spores dusting me with spells,

I am delivered by wild horses through the clouds.

I flow in the river’s heart,

Remembered by the valley,

I am delivered by wild horses through the clouds.

Sheltered by the trees’ rooted shadows,

Remembered by the valley,

Bones rest in the sound of living water.

Sheltered by the trees’ rooted shadows,

Faith finds me;

Bones rest in the sound of living water,

I come again to the forest.

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