Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Coyote & Friends

Drawing.

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We No Longer Sing Forgiveness
by Robert Casebeer

Red cedar,
The Giant on the Sound,
We no longer ask forgiveness
When we take it down.
No longer do the ritual songs
Seek forgiveness for the bark we strip,
nor for the gift of self
that cedar planks become.
The Kwakutil nights no longer keep
the spirits of the tree at bay.
Cedar sickness does not affect
the iron of chain and choker,
the hug of cable or the bite of tongs.
The cedar song no longer marks the gift;
And cedar bolts are cut and bound,
Hauled south to make a shade in San Fernando Valley,
To make a shade, to shake;
And only the shift of tectonic plates can make
remembrance a necessity --
Can sing the old song to the cedar once again.