a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
of his stays. He turns his head to nuzzle patches of sweat
where the leather just sat. The torte with blackberries and lemon
rind crackles between my teeth. Flycatchers depart and the loons
return wafting over the waterline with pale ringed necks
and red eyes. I walk a spit of the Skagit estuary heedless
of the hunting safety zone and season. Signs warn me
I may be inundated with the tide. Down a long trail colonnaded
by dense velvet clubs of cattails: oystercatchers prance
in the mud flats, yellow mouth eagle on the snag. The air
takes on thick licks of salt and I am walking a mosaic
surface through the sea water, dun cut with slim channels.
The clot of swallows streaming from the cornfield miles inland
arrow to a delicate smear of grime on the flat gray horizon
of my backward glance. Gull calls warble with eerie resonance
as the sea bends my legs and takes me to the chest
holding my arms to my sides. My eyes go bloodshot and I dive.
A poet and a public-school teacher, Laura Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and the Institute of American Indian Arts. Da’ is the current Poet Laureate for the City of Redmond. Da’ is the author of Tributaries, winner of the American Book Award, and Instruments of the True Measure, winner of the Washington State Book Award. Da’ is Eastern Shawnee. She lives near Renton with her husband and son.