CWI June 2020 Winner

Northern Lights

Sue Hoffman



a blessing;

a child to unite tribes.



a gift;

a child to bring joy.



a mystery;

who knows the child’s fate?


But I was born

when the night was black,

when the sky-dancers slept,

their coloured capes folded to cushion weary heads,


and nothing could waken them;

not my father’s yells

nor my mother’s pleas,

not even the dance-drums of the Elders.


And so we live

by sufferance,

cast out from the clan’s heart,

forbidden to sing.