Because It’s Time

I’ve always been frustrated by an arbitrary time –
             At least, time practiced  here among the whites –
                        From cradle to the grave.

Eat, sleep and play – work, laugh and cry –
          And all their opposites – the string of don’ts
                     Worn pearl-like around the necks of those who don’t
                               Do life outside some tight constriction.

But worst of all, that constant school refrain,
        “Finish what you’re doing –
                  It’s time –
                         So off to home you go”

       Some days the bell would never seem to ring
             Yet we would sit and watch the sun dip low in wintry skies.
And then, on days of art and song or shop
          They wouldn’t let us stay
                   To flow our hearts and minds –
                            As some new mode of
                                     Self expression caught us up –
                                               Conjuring from dim reaches of our souls
                                                        Things unfamiliar –
                                                                Our new mysterious friend
                                                                       More precious as he never leaves
                                                                                  Or goes home just ‘because it’s time’

I’m glad I’m Creenglish – and though they hanged Riel
            To keep that cancer cell from spreading to their kids
                          It grows just fine,
                                   And creeps through cultural fishers like the water in the rocks –

‘Maybe’ – ‘some day’ – ‘later’ – who knows?’ – ‘whatever’—
           Words of imprecision bring delight –
                      A way of life that yields to nature’s time –
                             Rolls –
                                     Then rides its surfing power
                                                When synchronicity is reached.

I love to watch white women drop their eyes as folks approach
           “That’s Cree”, the Elder spoke, “Lakota don’t do that –
                       Though evil eye it skips and safety gains –
                                     We prefer to look them in the eye”.

To me it’s not the evil eye, but self respect
          To others given – not just for me—
                   To yield some space
                          And freedom just to be
                                without the imposition
                                     Of my time or pressured presence in their loves.

Let others call it evil if they want
        But me? It’s of a life that is
                  A oneness in the world
                            That sets me free.

So as again I hear that pressed refrain
         ‘Pack up your things—it’s time – so home you go” –
                    Again that pressured presence of the clock
                              Which tries once more to look me in the face

I turn my eyes back downward, deep within,
         And choose to know that new mysterious friend –
                    Wave off the teacher – freed her way to go
                                For I’m already home – have long been so.