We bury him the Ojibway way
facing east. His body seated
in the grave, we fold his arms
and hands across his chest, rest
his head against both kneecaps.
Near his right ankle we place
bannoch and a bag of wild rice.
On an icy night as clear as this,
a Birch Moon lights on Star People,
who emerge from the galaxy
to tell stories. We shovel in
his grave, arrange several stones
in a mound on top, then above
the cairn set a large rock to mark
his passing. Dawn’s rays will guide
him to the happy hunting ground.
Copyright © Mary Franklin 2016
Mary Franklin has had poems published in various publications including Iota, The Open Mouse, Ink Sweat and Tears, London Grip, Message in a Bottle, Three Drops from a Cauldron and several anthologies, most recently by Three Drops Press. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.