The Doors of the Sea

There was a ship
went into the sea
over the body of my brother
I am just a boy
he was not much older than me
the goddess is good and cruel
wants her share of life, like us
sparkling dust of birds far away whom we follow, the stars
the blood red dust of life
as my brother’s face
disappeared beneath us
beneath the ship which carried us and the goddess
to where we do not know
leaving the war of my grandfather
the smell of smoke following us
our keel, my brother, knocking down the doors of the sea
the tall, and the wild waves coming, crashing
under the keel of my brother’s name
far from the sound of places we were leaving
the roads we followed
marching past my uncle’s crooked mountain forts
while his men called out at us
with our long hair
on our shoulders
first by my brother’s name
who was this girl with him, leave her with us
she is my brother, he said
not glancing at me
our songs we sang in the warm rain for the goddess
blessed be her name
her cloak the wild wood pigeons turning
her crown the lone plover’s crying
where now are you brother?

More Poems by Dan Taulapapa McMullin