Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I met a Navajo child in my travels.
On a dirt road
stretching from here to the sky.
Standing before me,
right in the middle of the road.
The wind kicked up a bit,
and I held on to my hat tightly
so that it would not be forever lost
in the wind.
And that child just stood there,
didn't move,
didn't speak.
Didn't blink,
didn't show any sign.
Just stood there, staring at me.

I looked up the road for sign,
for traffic.
For miles I saw nothing.
Nothing at all.
So I looked at the kid and said,
" You shouldn't be standing there. "
Nothing .
Just silence.

The sun,
beating down heavily upon the both of us,
I wipe sweat from my brow.
Wiping the collected droplets of perspiration
from sleeve to finger-tip.
" Hot enough for you? " I say.
That stare,
Heart cold.
Cold as the day was hot.

I take out my canteen of cool water,
water as clear as air,
as cool as Heaven’s breath blowing away the heat of Hell
from my soul.
And I sip.
" Would you like some? "
No reply,
no glimmer
no acknowledgment.

" Do you understand English? "
Still nothing.
" Would you like some candy? "
Dead silence.

The wind kicked again,
wailing like voices from the distance,
like gun shot cries,
Spirit voices of old men and women.
And my heart beats like Tom Toms over laid with tribal chants.
I need a smoke.

Nervously I fumble in my bag
and out falls a bottle my liquor.
A child's stare is broken.
Transfixed upon the liquid
trapped within the glass.
I pick up the bottle and place it back within my bag,
as I grab for my small piece of serenity and begin to light.
I draw in deep,
as my spiritual peace covets my heart and gets into my head.
I am touched by GOD.

That child smiles,
Walks to my side
and find comfort in my stillness
as I exhale with a high and relief unnatural.
I welcomed this simple exchange.

I've broken the silence.

The Wait by Shazza Nakim
Copyright © by Peace of Mind Publishings and with permission by Shazza Nakim