Poundmakerbeating a black ash log with a four-pound hammer making splints from the wood. Why did that grandfather teach you to make baskets that way? Poundmaker beating that log for seven days straight. It has yet to disappear. I asked you for mercy on day four. Couldn’t see straight or remember what I was doing. Sound bouncing off the mountains ringing through the trees, and around the lake, settling in my skull. Why do you do it? Reading the story of the land, you say, and listening to the spirit of the wood. Damn you, Poundmaker, and damn your four-pound hammer, beating the daylight out of that black ash log. Why must you weave your baskets from the flesh of the past?
© Patrick O’Neill 2010. All rights reserved