I was a Calusa once

By Rosa Sophia

This poem was inspired by my visit to Fort Center and Fisheating Creek. What an incredible place. I know I was born here once.

Fisheating Creek

Fisheating Creek

Bicycle wheels on shell rock road
carry me home, carry me home
the dust scatters
mingles with sweat

the ibis leaps
from its perch on the cow
flies swarm as the vultures dip and dive
massive clouds like islands drift

as into my past I journey, swift
God works in unusual ways
and there’s a reason
for everything

Here I am standing on an ancient Indian burial mound near Fisheating Creek.

Here I am standing on an ancient Indian burial mound near Fisheating Creek.

Bicycle wheels on shell rock road
carry me home, carry me home
I trudge through grass
soft soil beneath

I think I might sink
am I going to sink?
in the land of my ancestors
I return home

I’m meant to be here
meant to stay here
come back, come back
the voices whisper

I want to go in
and be a part of the earth
beneath that algae surface
scattered bones

people whose names
I can’t recall
who spoke words
I no longer know

they made love
and fought and ate and prayed
and walked this world with me
so many years before

Goddess brings me
back again
she takes my hand
and leads me home

A beautiful tree on Fisheating Creek.

A beautiful tree on Fisheating Creek.

Bicycle wheels on shell rock road
carry me home, carry me home
sun beams spearing
through thick foliage

live oak, cabbage palm
a burial mound in the hammock
spiked seeds on my clothes
the wind whispers

and speaks
as I shove my hand into the dirt
one with the dirt
I’m part of the earth

Calusa, blood of my blood
heart of my heart
God works in odd ways
I’m led here by fate

Goddess brings me back
she takes my hand
while in the woods
footsteps sound out

a tall shadow rises
faceless spirit
warm thoughts, love
and sacred energy 

Who is there?
No one answers
wind shudders the palm fronds
and I’m part of the shell rock road

bicycle wheels
carried me home
carried me home.

A charnel house stood by this pond, where the dead were placed until they rotted. Their bones were then taken and wrapped up for a "bundle burial" in the nearby mound. This spot is a fascinating place to visit.

A charnel house stood by this pond, where the dead were placed until they rotted. Their bones were then taken and wrapped up for a “bundle burial” in the nearby mound. This spot is a fascinating place to visit.

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