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"Vision Quest"

                         (The eldest son speaks)
Thunder speaks, while fire gods streak the sky
with lightning torces arrowing the dark
and he, Old Warrior, rides in triumph on a wind
he calls Storm Dancing Horse, that he will tend
until at last it gentles to his touch.
And we, his other sons and I, take up the search
for marks he left along a fading trail
to guide us while he made his vision quest.
It may be we will crest some ragged hill
and hear the echo of his strong voice, chanting still
the words he gave for us to live by - -
flint-hard words, like courage, honor, truth,
burned in his blood by those who trod the path
before him, where each brave must walk apart
from all he loves if he would know
that he is brave at heart.
What spurred his restless mind?  It did not quail
when many moons wove a dark blanket of his years.
They left his spirit strong, his body frail,
but brought him peace that reached beyond all fears
that his fierce eagle eyes should close at last.
And has he found it now, all searching done,
the hard-won end of his long vision quest?
I do not know.  Perhaps he tracks them still - -
the Spirit Horse, the Singing Wolf, the Great White Buffalo.
Thunder speaks, while fire gods streak the sky,
and each of us, his other sons and I,
will ride our wind toward some bright tribal star
to honor him who shaped us as we are.
Nell S.Jenkins
June 1 1992

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