Sweetgrass & Fire

She wouldn’t buy a braided bundle 

 built however rightly there;

would prefer to watch it garden grow,

 thinning, when Time would spare. 


She wouldn't tie the bottom or

 the top with common cord;

sooner with a shock of grass

 wetted by her lips—“Better

to wrap it with itself

 surely, in place of this.”


She wouldn’t let mine help her hold

 one end of the braid as she took;

the side of her foot was suitable, more— 

 the purity of her tone. 


She wouldn’t strike a match, for

 smoke to that green braid;

finer still is candle wax—’tis

 “Better to let the bumbling bees’

 yearnings fuel the flames.”


She spoke—when singing

 and then, without sound:

“These are the ways I long for Fire—

 This is how sweetgrass is bound."