For You, a Handful of the Greatest Gift

Small-eyed, plump, and with black
leathery hands, Attaskwa, is composed
          and debonair
as it perches on trampled cat tail reeds
beside a quivering, cloud-reflecting pond.
with cosmogony, he’s exceedingly
unselfish,” instructs the branch-shaping
Wabami, Look at him, kekenetama,
he knows. And he’s elated to oversee
the daylight brings everyday.”
We focus the camera’s telephoto lens
          and see
details of his coat glittering with drops
of luminescent water.

“To our Grandfather, Kemettoemenana,”
narrates the sculpture, “he magnanimously
          agreed after
the Last Conflict of the Gods to retrieve
a handful of soil from the deep, singular
          ocean that
became land beneath our feet. He
set forth unequivocally a doctrine.
very closely, my grandchildren,
nottisemetike, for you may not hear
          these words
again.” Lifting its black nose
to the sky, Attaskwa ambles
          to the pond’s
edge and stops as if to pose
before the picture is snapped.
          Behind us,
the sculptor crafts a small
dome-shaped skeletal lodge
embeds it to the ground.

We wholly agree that each day
there are overt and minute changes.
          Even if we
don’t see or if we’re not there, it happens.
Without Muskrat, our Creation—you
          and me,
would be zero. From the alluvial soil
delivered from oceanic depths, we
          were made
thereafter. His courage is brazen like
that of a Wetase, Veteran, because he
unflinchingly to retrieve Earth.

Oblivious of our presence, Attaskwa
slides into the pond and swims
          to the middle,
creating a cape-like effect of waves
behind him that dissipates
          the blue sky
and its clouds. Indicative of his
sacrifice, we learn Attaskwa floated
to the surface. In gratitude Earth-maker
resurrected him. So when personal
are contemplated, ask yourself,
my daughter and son, what did I
Think specifically of what he did.
Use him, my children, netabenoemetike,
          as an example
of what must be done to rectify
society’s misdirection. Only then
          will our,
language, religion, culture, and history
thrive in the Muskrat’s benevolent

As he approaches the mound
of his home, Attaskwa looks back
          at us briefly.
And before his cape of waves reaches
the shoreline, he dives into the dark
          green pond.
Before we pack up the equipment,
the sculptor hands us sacred
to sprinkle delicately over
the water animal’s architectural

From Manifestation Wolverine. Copyright © 2015 by Ray A. Young Bear. Used with the permission of the author.