When I Arrived, This Is What She Said.

by C.S. MacCath

"Lie down in my salt-spattered pine needles
and listen, your ear to the earth,
for the languages speaking in my bones;
Mi'kmaq, Gàidhlig, French, English,
these are the voices of your welcome.

"And come, oh daughter of too many journeys,
gray in your hair, lead in your heart,
sore-footed and stumbling, to the sea,
where we will weep together; stone, salt and water
until your sorrow erodes into sand.

"There is an ocean hidden in your veins,
a coyote in your mind, an oak in your belly,
a sparrow in the hollow of your throat.
Bring them here, to the ragged edge of the continent,
to your home, and set them free."

C.S. MacCath lives with her husband and two cats in Nova Scotia, where she writes, studies the Gàidhlig language and sings Gàidhlig songs. The masks that choose her are lent from fleet-footed cougars racing across the road on rainy nights, pregnant foxes sitting on snowy hillocks, grounded loons convalescing in safety until they can fly again, orphaned squirrel infants curled into scraps of flannel. She is careful to return the masks undamaged.

You can learn more about her published work at her website.

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