It is the day of leaving
when spiderlings
in orders of magnitude
hatch and from inward silk
unfurl toward a new god
caught by the wind
and I walk by the silk curtain
the strands that came from a body.
It is a shining world
and I think of being attached once from the belly
and what would happen if I could unravel something
from myself. I think it would not be the story
of how it was the spider who crossed water
to bring fire to my people
in the old world, our first stories,
or about the length and brightness of our river
shining in the ribbon of light it created
but about the cave up there in the high mountains
with the animals made of willow twigs
there before any of us.
They are tied with the string of our grasses
as if they were saying, we are one of you, the future,
and then those first ones came down on ropes of animal hair.
There have always been the far travelers
coming down from above.
That’s why our fields are full of hope
and what is a story
but this,
silk, insect, ancestors landing
who knows where.

Linda Hogan is a Former Writer in Residence for The Chickasaw Nation and Professor Emerita from University of Colorado is an internationally recognized public speaker and writer of poetry, fiction, and essays. Her latest publication is DARK. SWEET. a collection of new and selected poems. Her two newest books are Indios Rounding the Human Corners (Pulitzer nominee) and the well-regarded novel People of the Whale. Her other books include novels Mean Spirit, a winner of the Oklahoma Book Award, the Mountains and Plains Book Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Solar Storms, a finalist for the International Impact Award, and Power, also a finalist for the International Impact Award in Ireland. WW Norton has published her fiction. Hogan’s nonfiction includes a respected collection of essays on environment, Dwellings, A Spiritual History of the Land; and The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir.