running along a river

the Salmon Child looks to the right

sees the rushing water

crashing over the boulders

salmon holding their heads above the crests

foam rushing to hug them

the salmon jumping

swimming against the stream

chasing their dreams

slamming against the wall

gashing their bodies

only to re-ascend

the downward assault

rise above the crest

crushing against the rounded



and s t o n e s

racing toward their end

to give new life

into the gravel that holds their memory

the Salmon Child races toward the bridge

while noticing the brutal end

of a cycle that began millennia ago

as Grandmother Moon held her first child

as long ago

as Father Sky shed his first tear for his grandchild

who cried out for the first time

cycles of life and death

forever rise above the crest

for as long as the grass grows

and the river runs

Salmon-Run Child

will race to the end

to greet home his Elders

and send his children back

to the rivers

Coast Salish Territory, March 2005

Goose Eyes, Rhonda Lee McIsaac, is an Anishnaube writer from northwestern Ontario. She has lived in the Yukon for three years and now resides in Teslin.

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