NATIVE POEM: The Last Warrior

~ The Last Warrior ~ 


High on bleak, stony rag,

Unmoving, he sits astride

His ragged coated pony.

Only telltale frozen breaths,

Separate them from

The still, winter black boles

Of ancient leafless trees.

The pony, blown and lame,

Stands with lowered head,

Ears flattened to the sound

Of a distant wolf pack.

The man on his back,

All weapons lost,

Ignores the trickling blood

From savage wounds,

Mingling his war paint.

Eyes burning fiercely

He strains to find

The sign he seeks:

Behind, the sound of enemy

Draws ever closer.

At last, faith rewarded,

He sees far below

In the deep valley,

Arriving at the edge

Of the fast flowing river,

The great she bear

With two gamboling cubs:

To fish the racing salmon,

Drawn relentlessly toward

Their age-old spawning ground.

Silently, the wounded brave

Offers his final prayer

To the eternal clan bear;

Totem and guardian

Of his battle slain tribe.

The enemy, exultant,

Are almost upon him,

Yet he looks not behind:

He sees only the Great Spirit,

Surrounding him kindly

In loving, firm embrace.

While the enemy closes in,

He straightens himself;

His voice rings loud and clear,

Echoing across the land

To the distant cloudless sky.

One last defiant war cry

As he spurs on his pony,

And leaps…

Into the world of his ancestors.


W.J. Bruce