Wiindigo’s on the move, foraging
for roots berries meats.
Young Ojibwe children
huddle wideeyed as elders tell
legends of the creature that walks the winter wood.
The mass of manmonster comes from the cold
when Minnesota’s Moon of Crusty Snow is
near halfpast, and Spring is still
being beaten back by biting cold.
Twigs and dryreeds glaze in drizzlefreeze.
And the hairy man comes.
The drum and flute that haunts reservation winters
crescendos early, followed by
the drawnout tinkling of shattered glass
scattering across a frozen lake.
Nourishment for wild creatures grows scarce.
Cold morning, thatched fog, crows steaming upon posts.
Wiindigo tromps from the deep wood,
crosses the meadow and enters the Indian village.
Iced walks are greased glass, and pedestrians
don’t trust their mukluks, should they need to run.
Wiindigo crouches in shadow, tumrumbling.
Sharp smell seeps from a Caribou on every corner,
hissing espresso for the queued crowds.
First published in I Was Indian: An Anthology of Native Literature