Moon at Midnight – Part XXVI (day 2000)

(day XXV)

When Spring finally came
The village came to life with activity
Even the wildlife seemed to be happier
As the sun stuck around longer
Whistling was heard everywhere
Especially coming from the young scouts
Who were all running around
With their new quivers they had proudly made
With the help of Moon Cow
Runners would come daily from the surrounding tribes
Spreading the news of the cold winter.

We were told to come at once
As our neighbours were having a gathering
To celebrate the new life
Sprouting all around
There was also much talk
About the army’s whereabouts,
Both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
And the U.S. Army,
Mountain Chief and Moon Cow were always involved
In these important discussions
Trying to understand
Why the land had brought them
Charging into Blackfoot territory.

I was excited as well
To practice once more my arrow
See if she still sung straight
With the young Scouts I hunted with
It became a challenge
Who would get their first offering
Of the season.

The four of us,
Willow, Lily, Moon Cow and I
All rode over to pay Amy, Frank, and Clarinet a visit
They were ever so happy to see us
As they usually were
It was nice to see they had survived the winter well
Still plenty of split wood left
In Frank’s woodpile
It’s funny how a winter changes a person
Even though most physical things stay the same
For me, I was surprised to remember
How just a year ago
I had been embarking on my journey East
To find what I had been looking for.

Frank had news from Missouri country
Where he learned that President Ulysses S. Grant
Was in the process of Reconstruction
Rebuilding, a lot of talk about Black folk
And settling affairs with Natives
For us out where we were,
It was all just city talk,
Technical business matters we weren’t involved in
Or so we liked to think
Though we knew that it wasn’t just going to be me
Wandering through these hills
It was going to be many more like me
In search of something to call their own
I didn’t know it at the time
But anybody who was familiar with the territory
Knew that there was a bit of unease that spring
As news spread after the thaw.

part XXVII

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