Their oak and pine sailed the liquid salts,
and entered her land with lies, irons and steel…
before she could smell the disease in their blood,
the bloodthirst in their hearts,
their heartless intent.
She warned the Chief; but
his advice-givers reminded him
that the Witch Priestess had rejoined the land…
before saying that a mere maiden
could walk the steps of a Crone.
“I hold the comb,” the maiden said.
“Grandmother sang into my soul.
If you don’t let me sing the words,
the land will swallow our people’s flesh
and strangers will step on their broken bones.”
She continued to ask, but no one listened.
After death thickened the wind,
the Maiden sang the Crone’s words to the river…
and the water filled with breath.
Holding on to a procession
of open eyes and ears,
she descended into water-shielded caves.
When the moon is full of silver,
the Maiden of the Waters swims to the surface
to detangle her long black hair
with a comb made
of Grandmothers’ golden songs.
Process Note: The Indians of the Waters is a Dominican myth that speaks of a group of Taínos, indigenous people, who escaped the slaughter and disease introduced by the Spaniards. The myth says that these Taínos found refuge in underwater caves, and they continue to live there peacefully. During full moons, women of The Waters come to the surface to detangle their hair with a golden comb (conditioner must be scarce in the caves?). Different versions of the myth suggest that during the hair detangling escapades, the women also manage to seduce and kidnap men from the surface (it seems detangler is not the only thing running low in the caves).
for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads