Beyond the Soapstone

Standing in the Aboriginal Arts Gallery,
my eyes lock on
a carved soapstone.
Behind thick glass case, the haze
rises—
an old man’s sealed code
cries for the last person of his tribe,
nothing left but sand,
no dust to hold the chief’s tears.

Now the rain
is tapping on their dead land,
their broken arrows,
and droplets
drift through our revolving doors,
evaporate among soaring skyscrapers.

The gallery becomes his last
treasure holder,
his freezing island;
No matter how deep history sinks
in a long        and hidden river;
no matter what
currents wash up.

 

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