Overhead / and I measure the day / by the span of my hands.
I do not understand / minutes, hours, or time / except in the movement of light.
Sun shares its warmth / but I cannot keep it, / cannot truly own anything / outside my skin.
I do not understand /budgets, deficits, / dollars, defense, deterrence.
Sun goes down behind hills / and the night reminds me / that darkness brings stories, that rest is right.
I do not understand / the endless, frantic dance / of lighted screens.
I understand sleep / I understand dreams.
Joseph Bruchac is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults. He is an elder of the Nulhegan Abenaki people of the northeastern woodlands of what is now New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. His work explores Abenaki ancestry and Native American storytelling traditions.
Bruchac founded the Greenfield Review Literary Center and the Greenfield Review Press and has edited a number of anthologies of poetry and fiction, including Breaking Silence (1983), which won an American Book Award.