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The Place Where My Soul Rests

The Place Where My Soul Rests

My Grandpa guarded the sacred places from whites. He had a badge shaped like an arrowhead. There was a line across the road that stopped trucks. Cars couldn't get there, because the road was too rough. We only stayed in June, July and August because winter guarded the sacred sites the rest of the time. If someone didn't want to listen to my frail old Grandpa, when he told them they couldn't enter, then he let them pass. He went to his radio and told the ones who could do something about it.

The Jocko River Valley was green and fresh and deep. The river was white with rage. The rocks were every color, and smooth.

My Grandpa left balls of tin foil around, for the thief. If the pack-rat could take aluminum foil, it wouldn't take spoons. Spoons are heavier.

My Grandpa squatted on his feet and gazed into the fire.

Grandma went and got a white bucket of water from the river.

The dogs laid in the sun.

A chipmunk scolded us for intruding.

The air smelled like pine.

The river always roared.

My mom took me fishing. We walked up the dirt road and fished from the bridge with no luck. We were walking home when she stopped and looked at a deer trail that was a line cut through the thick deep forest. We collapsed our fishing poles and hugged them as we pushed through the thick brush. We came to a calm and deep part of the river. It was held back by a bridge that had washed out. Green moss grew on the the old grey bridge that laid at a weird angle. The water looked like glass. There were deer cropped lawns on the other side. I could see the fish that refused to bite. There was a quiet sense of the sacred. My mom whispered when she spoke. I couldn't talk at all because my shrill child's voice made the whole place ring. We floated on a huge log and tried to fish, while fighting the feeling that we didn't belong. It was a place that was too sacred for us.

I squat and stare at the fire.

I can never go back, it isn't there any more, and now I'm white.

This is where my soul goes.

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