How Night Was Made : Annie Wright

(after a line from Tales of the Warao, Orinoco Delta, Amazon)

An enormous sneeze was brewing;

the Lord of the Night shook out

his sky blue handkerchief

Aschooalotl, splotl, aschootl!


and dabbed tear-streaked eyes.

When he opened them

to his surprise

dark had escaped

covering the world in blackness.

Coyote howled, jaguar hissed,

all the birds fell to Mother Earth

for protection.

His people huddled shivering,

afraid a mighty beast

had swallowed the sun for ever.

The Lord of the Night

hung his head and wept.

Tears froze on his cheeks

and he knew what he must do.

He flung crystal tears     into emptiness

Somewhere far distant

glittering splinters of light

hang in the heavens, tiny fires

by which to navigate the night.