When you speak,
seeing not through 
your self but through
the eyes of the land,
the voice you hear
is no longer yours.

You have not planned
the words you speak,
your only script
is the indrawn breath
that brings to you
the scent of pine,
brings to your throat
the first morning mist,
brings to your lungs
the cedar smoke 
from the fire
where stones are
the heartbeat of flame.

So you speak
and what you say
when it is given
voice this way

speaks with the wind
and all things that breathe,
wli dogo wongan,
all our relations.

Copyright © 2023 by Joseph Bruchac. This poem appeared in Turtle Island QuarterlyUsed with permission of the author.