The Death of the Water Drinker

January 13th, 2019

He came to me in wintertime;
the snow fell softly down.
The birds had ceased their warbled songs;
a restless peace had grown.

He told me of his people's past
and what they'd come to be.
I told him of their future paths -
the things they'd come to see.

I sung to him of dyings when
the beasts would run no more.
I sung to him of warring times,
when brothers'd come ashore.

He heard my words with rapt attent.
He drank his water slow
and as I spoke, his tears awoke
and fell like Winter's snow.

The land would die, I said to him:
he'd live in shacks of stone.
The buffalo had passed away
in stead a web was woven

His friends would shrink to few
And they'd live in borrowed tombs
A specter of their glory
Their children dead in wombs.

His heart all fell to ashes
His face took somber hue
He begged to me for mercy
but nothing could I do.

He wrote my words, the wise to see
That they might stem the tide
And as a knell he sorry fell
The water drinker died.