Between the turtle rock and the crane rock
the children found me. I was shining and smooth
and silent about my secrets. One day above me
men with bony shoulders came and built the barracks.
Then I couldn’t see the sky for the rising camps
and I couldn’t feel the winds which whipped
between the ranges and I couldn’t see the ranges.
After a short time, voices moved in and I heard singing.
Months later, dancing. But mostly what caught me
was the quiet, concentrated chatter of elders:
How long before a working stove? How to make a garden
in this cradle of limestone? How to coax a stream
from the highest of peaks in the freest of nations
in this nation we sought for the blinding?
Some days no one heard the tears but I felt them.
They coated me like evidence of a prior sea.
I thought: this must be how the humans felt
when the rains broke above them every two hundred days
and the waters for once didn’t leak through their roofs
and they were happy.
|Brynn Saito is the author of the poetry collection The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award and forthcoming from Red Hen Press (March, 2013). Her poetry has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared in Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review,Pleiades, and Drunken Boat. Brynn was born in the Central Valley of California to a Korean American mother and a Japanese American father. She received an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in religious studies from NYU. Currently, Brynn lives in the Bay Area and teaches in San Francisco.|