Friday, April 18, 2008

What Was My Ancient Name?

by Darla Nunnery

Florida. I was sand and the green slippery roots on the ocean floor. Sun Father wanted me fertile, wanted to see his children there upon me, but I was already flourishing, just not in the way he wanted. He is my partner so I revealed my shoreline to his seed. Great beasts and humble men nestled in my groves, caught salty food from my seas, and bathed within my clear, cold caverns.

These children are mine as well as his; now their tribes and the name they gave me are lost forever. Outlanders call me Land of Flowers. Yes, they name me by my most sacred and beautiful treasure. These men of metal see only my beauty and virtue, not my wrath. I feel condemned to accept the choosing of whatever these men ravage. I sleep.

Occasionally when I wake I see men with plows. I see children who like to swim and fish. I hear hawks cry and and see buzzards flying in a spiral downward. There are women who love me. There is one who raises each morning and calls me by my name. I answer her with the scent of orange blossoms.

Like all who are virtuous and fertile, they fight over me. Grey suits hide and blue men can only sail around. Metal is replaced with cattle. Steam. Soot. Dust. What will you eat when your farm lands are gone?

I hide and so do those who love me. We lay awake at night together and listen to crickets and cicadas. I love to visualize the healing which will take place when the Outlanders are gone, the ones who only live upon me and not with me. If you eat food that is grown from me you are me. Your breath is made possible by my pine and palmetto offspring. The Children I invited with Sun Father are welcome, you are ALL welcome. Do not forget your own children; their inheritance is me, and I am not dead.

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