Ojibwe Boy
#1
Ojibwe Boy,

Somewhere in the joy of the dance
your eagle feather has fallen 
to ground.

No sage smudge on earth will save you.

The elders will say their prayers
but only after father 
offers up his best tobacco
to make amends.

You're going to hear about it
when he gets you home.
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#2
The last line threw me a bit. Kept reading it as "when he gets home"
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

"Or, if a poet writes a poem, then immediately commits suicide (as any decent poet should)..." -- Erthona
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#3
I enjoyed this one. Nice detail and narrative. I think it holds together.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#4
Read it. Intrigued by the Ojibwe and their culture, something I never looked into -- thought I needed to learn about it, in order to read this. Not really, and anyways I got a sense of what emotion this was supposed to bring up during my first couple of passes. But then a discussion somewhere else reminded me of blood quanta, and I feel like this is saying something about that, or at least about the loss of culture such laws inevitably bring about -- but a nit. Do the Ojibwe pray? I googled, and all I found was Christian. Lovely work.
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#5
Some things are universal: embarrass your dad in public, and you're going to get it when you get home. It seems like the meaning behind the ritual isn't necessary for the understanding of the poem.

Made me smile.
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#6
Thanks for reading and commenting guys. There was a NaPM prompt about falling feathers that reminded me of something I'd seen at a Pow Wow a few years back. The boy was maybe 15, and what struck me was I think the boy was there A) because he loved dancing, and B) to make his parents happy. I don't think he gave a crap about the significance of the feather until it became an issue. Seraphim was correct about the intended universality. I  used to get the silent treatment if I'd played a poor game of soccer. Parents are a strange lot.
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