A Long Time Ago

I'm not sure how small I was

Big enough to raise my hand

And stand

Small enough I could still hear 

Animals talk 


I was with a group of girls

Maybe Brownies

Maybe Daisies

Maybe something before Daisies became a thing

Maybe some kind of church youth

I think it was before Daisies

We were in a field

With two grown ups and a ranger

And the ranger had brought an animal


Today you are here to learn about the buffalo

This is a buffalo

This one is a child

Just like you

Even though it looks big

The grown up buffalo

Are much much much bigger

Buffalo are sacred to the native people of this land

The buffalo and the people have a sacred relationship

The buffalo know the people need them to survive

And this is a sacrifice they are willing to make

The people honor this by using every bit of the animal

When they hunt

They don't just eat the meat

They use the bones for tools

They use the internal organs as pouches and bags

They use the hide for blankets

Every single part has a use

Nothing is wasted

Everything is honored

And because of this

The buffalo trust the people

It is said

That if a warrior is pure in heart

The buffalo will stand still

And let the warrior walk right up to it

And take its sacrifice


Now listen close

You should never try walking up to a grown up buffalo

But this is a child

And it knows to trust people

And today

If anyone here is pure in heart

You can walk up to this buffalo

And pet it

And feel its soft fur

So close your eyes

And focus on your heart

And you can pet it

If the buffalo decides


And I got so excited

I don't know how to explain this right

But I know my heart is made of light

So I closed my eyes

And shined so bright


Good, the ranger said

Now open your eyes

And if anyone feels like they can touch the buffalo

Raise your hand


The buffalo met me behind my eyes and said

You can

So I raised my hand


Said the ranger

Are you pure in heart? 

I nodded

Then slowly walk over here

And if you're feeling brave

You can pet its soft fur


I kept looking at the buffalo's eyes

He was quiet

I walked up and in my head said

Hello Mr Buffalo

And he said 

Go ahead

So I petted his fur

He was soft and warm

And he said

In my head

You are pure in heart

What are you doing here?

We don't get many of you around here anymore


I'm looking for a friend, I said in my head

He's lost

They think he may have landed here

He's in danger

He doesn't belong here

Everyone is looking for him

And I have to find him


You do have to find him

He said in my head

I want to help you

I can't give you a sacrifice

Would you take a piece of wisdom? 


Yes, yes I will

I'll take whatever help you give


Don't give up and don't lose hope

Don't let this world change you

You are here to change it

Remember that

That's very important

Even if you don't remember me

Even if you don't remember where you heard it

Remember this

Don't let this world change you

You are here to change it


I will remember

I promise


You probably won't

It will be very difficult

You might remember if you tell someone else about it

So try that

It will help


Okay, I can tell my mother

But, um, buffalo is a hard word to say

Do you have a different name? 


He smiled inside

You can call me Buff Buff

That's close enough

Tell your mother

She won't believe you

But telling her will help you remember


I promise

I promise to tell her

I promise to remember you


And he said

You don't have to remember me

Just repeat this

Repeat it over and over

As many times as you can


Don't let this world change you

You are here to change it


Don't let this world change you

You are here to change it


Don't let this world change you

You are here to change it


The above is an excerpt from my upcoming book Composing Ripples, currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

This poetry traces a personal narrative back in time to explore the spirits of our nature, cycles of abuse, and the river that runs through us. Delve into getting lost and finding the way home. 

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