A song of knuckles – Pina Piccolo

         For the children of the Residential Schools, both those who died and those who endured


Listen to the thud of knuckle bones

little children counting stones

beckoning play

snapping their invisibility away


no flowers

nor marker

hidden where

there’ll be no seeking


Decades of no slumber

decades of haunting sing song

the scent of ceremony

inebriating ghost nostrils

but the cross forbids

the dance of bones


Too far in the ground to be seen

exhaling clouds of vapor in the day

and at night

will-o’-the- wisp

jumping over trenches

racing fireflies


We were the gust of wind

that made the kite soar

The light touch

that made your skin shudder

Longing to hold up a body

As ours no longer  stood or grew


A song that was stunted

A drum that was skinned.

Now hitching a ride

on long lost cousins
handed down by the ages

protectors of land and stream


a flash of silver

beckoning the salmon upriver

swimming for life

to complete its circle

in all beings on the ground

above and, like us, under.



Pina Piccolo, 3 July 2021