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by Daria Halprin

All kinds of roads to healing
For Lorin Smith Pomo Medicine Man

He calls to me with his song with his hand with his laughter with his drumbeat with his smoky fire, his twinkling eyes, his good jokes, and his strong heart.

He sleeps in my guest room under my perfectly ironed sheets, but I’m the guest in his hands, laying myself down in his dreaming.
Who is that? How does he do that? What is that that he does?

The river flowing, the mountain standing through millenniums, the deer coming down off the trails looking for food in places that no longer welcome them. Hunters have changed, but he hasn’t, the way he has to call ancestors.

Singing honey from stone
Flying hawk dancing around all those screeching crows
Placing his hands on the pain.
Saying surrender to it, it’s ok, surrender to it.

His Grandfather talks to him, he talks to me, I call him Grandfather now, is that ok? I don’t even think to ask him, I just give him my hug, I don’t think it hurts his ribs; it’s a trust that we give each other.

He shoots his love arrow right into my deer heart, he says its ok, surrender to the pain, it’s ok.  He strokes my chin till the tears come like a flood across the dry plains. The next day my legs are sore from hiking trails with him, in my mind, he says, that’s good, it means you’ve been doing the healing work, it will get easier.

When we go home will we wake in the dark and not know where we are for sure? He wanders the halls laughing and says I don’t feel homeless anymore, how about you?We’re not homeless when we’re walking together like this. When I can cook your meals for you and you can feed my soul.

Will you miss my meals when you’re not here? Will I miss yours? Yes and now we’ll be ok till the next time. When will I see you again, don’t wait so long, don’t wait until you’ve forgotten how to surrender.

Last time you told me I’d been off the rez too long. I keep forgetting. My feathers are hiding out here in my shoulders, waiting to dance, common!

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