Kalyna Review

Kimberley L Becker



It was, as they say, heaven—

the push of our wings

molding what humans call valleys

the muscled pull upward making the mountains

extra effort at the top exaggerating peaks

We flew and tilted

and sometimes just coasted

on the currents

The wind in our feathers

(whose breath?)

was cold but bracing

and made us feel alive

The strength required to exert ourselves against inert earth

was a pleasure of accomplishment

and the mountains rose up and smiled

and the valleys groaned with pleasure

No one tells you that

but we were there, agent and witness

When we were finished

we circled above in wide admiration

and saw river ribboning

through what we had just made

and we laughed shrill laughs of joy

Then we played, falling and catching ourselves in the blue

dancing and gliding, at one with all that was and all that was coming into being

There were no people yet

They would emerge from a place,

the real people, AniYvwiya,

and some towns would be white for peace

and some towns would be red for war

and our carrion kin fed

but that came later

although we felt it coming then and brushed away the vision with our wings

We also saw some of our fathers’ feathers array the heads of warriors

But that all came later

First there was just the bustle of creation, flush

of pleasure in the making,

Our eyes saw our completed task and it was very good

It was very good


About the author


Of Cherokee/Celtic/Teutonic descent, Kimberly L. Becker is author of Words Facing East (2011) and The Dividings (2014), from WordTech Editions. Individual poems appear widely in journals and anthologies such as Drunken Boat (Native American Women’s Poetry folio) and Indigenous Message on Water (Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, 2014).  Visit her at www.kimberlylbecker.com