I Have No Totem

Jan 19, 2007
I am a white man.
If I say I have a totem I steal
someone else's myth. But, in a hard
time, when I walked among spruce
and hemlock down to the alders
on the bank of the Indian River to pray,
a kingfisher chattered at me
from a dead branch above
a clear, green pool.

by Peter Munro, from "A Fisheries Scientist Sights a Large School of Myth Swimming in Shallow Water in Southeast Alaska" from the archives of the Beloit Poetry Journal

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