from an evolving collection entitled Sun Lake Moon

In the back of my skull is a knot.

A knuckle-like knob where the skull is fused.

Dog owners sometimes say: smart bump, wisdom node.

A scientist of the veterinarian variety might say:

occipital protuberance; an armored spur

to protect the part of the brain responsible for vision.

Some of the old medicine people of the woodlands,

the islands, and back behind the mesas out West,

tell how an invisible cord comes out of the knot

and links wolves to ravens

wolf people to wolf people

wolf people to fox people

wolf people to raven people.

Sounds crazy to most white folks, I know,

but the wisdom-people of hidden earth

have long known that some two-leggeds

evolved from wolves and bears and feathered ones.

I've only met two other two-leggeds who had a medicine knot.

One woman was a jaguar.

The other shapeshifted into a fox at night.

I was too practical then; wasn’t prepared for all their visions.

Onward I went, me and my occiput.

But now, I must admit, every time I meet

a woman

a hound

a wolf

a kai'yot

I’m tempted to reach back
or bend low

and check the back of their skull

to see if we’re relatives.