Roads dotted with flowers
Trees embalmed with smells
Song of the bird at the awakening of the sun
Butterfly that twirls in pollen
The bee forages its honey
And the bear catches a trout
In the tumultuous
torrent The heavy land of the fruits it carries in it
The sky that turns to the storm to regain its electric
power And suddenly everything pivots in the rain
Floc and floc and soaked
froc My wet hair dripping on my face
I run to the village
And catch my breath lost in front of a cup of coffee
I scramble my hair and dry my face on the body
towel And I light a cigarette listening to the thunder rumble
And that's when a cart stops in front of the house
It's my neighbor Nash who lives three miles from here
Accompanied by Sam his son
Both sheltered under their coats
I bring them in and serve them the coffee
They had gone to see the wood under the hill of the near
And were surprised by the storm
This one did not announce
Good time for the corn that asked for a little water for a long time
He almost dried on the spot waiting for the rain
And the rest to the endorsement
But the tobacco requires less water
Ashwaë gave Nash this year an old variety
Grown by the Kawai since chandeliers
And fragrant like gingerbread
We use a slice with coffee with a little butter
Tom says he raised a hare the other day with his dog Yehou
And Nash shot him with a single shot of a rifle
I would bring you terrine
It is still unfortunate that a man like you lives without a woman
You are not stupid and no more lazy than another
Comes to visit us occasionally
The rain has stopped, the clouds
have spread Out Some are fraying and scratching on the sun
Spreading on their cotton orange and purple
hues I watch them move away on the way to the doorstep
I clean the table and put away the reliefs of the snack
Then I sit down, empty
head Watch the sun decline
And taste that bitter loneliness that has not let go of me since my seventeenth year
But I am good so
Finally, better than otherwise
I love silence
The chirping of birds
The slice of bread, the slice of bacon
And the glass of wine
The sun has finished extinguishing
It had beautiful colors after the rain
Of grays, roses, oranges and reds
He went down behind the earth to illuminate other peoples
I am not sleepY
I make a small fire
It is not really that I am cold
But he keeps me company
I sit on the rocking-chair
In the rocking I think of my mother
That I did not know
But that my father spoke so often that she is familiar
to me Dead by giving me life
Extinct a few hours after my awakening
Extinguished forever her smile her blond hair and her youth
She had followed my father here by leaving her family
To settle on the new lands torn from the Indians
There were opportunities
They had known each other at the Nashville
fair My father was looking for a breeder
And she was selling the creamy milk of their cows
Hay will still be able to wait
Her father had always kept a sad and closed
look Had never recovered from the disappearance of his love
And had too much work with the farm
And troubles with this land that he was not sure to keep
Claimed by the Indians
He had fought to keep
it Solidarity with the other peasants
And they had succeeded
After court
struggles The Indians could not produce any title
deeds It remained simple except for a few scuffles And a few hectares had been allocated
to the Kawai
as well as a right to hunt on the land which was problematic for some radicals
But my father had allowed them to set their traps on his land.
And sold them milk and honey for some game
And a good understanding had settled
Cordial on the part of my distant father
on the part of the Indians
Who held a great grudge against the whites
After the long march of tears
Who had deported them from east to west
And on the long road many old men, of women and children had died of exhaustion
So that of a thousand that counted their tribe
They arrived barely three hundred here
And of the one hundred and fifty hectares allocated first they had barely fifty
left The fire cracks and throws a blue
flame And sends an ember on the carpet
Already pierced with so many other embers
My father had settled on their former lands
Without knowing their history
A Nashville office was allocating plots
He had bought one with the family savings
Andreas was thirty years old and Siloë barely twenty when she died in childbirth
She was of Scandinavian origin and he of Italian
origin Third generation on American
lands He had died during the Civil War
At forty-seven years old
In my seventeenth year
I fall asleep heavily on the rocking-chair
In my dream the sun burns like a fire
Throwing messy
flames Blue, orange and red And suddenly it cracks like thunder
And throws
an ember that falls a few steps from my farm
And ignites the meadow
I wake up at this moment
I go out on the doorstep
Reassured by the dew that tickles my feet
And by the sun that rises gently, tenderly
In the middle of the
chirping birds I go to the meadow to look for the cows
They are six
I take them to milk
The heat of the udders warms my hands
Then I make a coffee and eat a piece of bread and a little cheese
Then I take my fishing rod and leave by the way to the valley
Halfway I meet Betty
She is seven years old and she wants to accompany
me I don't think your mother would agree I tell her She
replies I don't care I want to see the torrent
I'm going to fish for a trout for lunch, follow me
I remove for her the brambles of the way
She follows me without flinching
You're going to eat the trout?
Of course that's why I fish
it And how are you going to cook it?
In a pan with a little butter and a drizzle of lemon, I would add cream then
It makes me hungry
We walk along the river for a little while
Then it is here it is a beautiful place to fish for trout
I think you are right there is shade and a small detour of the river in hollow
And a rock dominates the hollow
Have you already fished for trout?
No, never
So you had a good intuition
What is an intuition?
It's something we don't know, but guess
because I guessed it was a good place?
Exactly. And now we will have to be silent and be a little patient
I throw my bait towards the edge
Then further and further to the bottom
Nothing happens for an hour and a half
Betty went to play with a butterfly a little further from the bank
Then suddenly the plug plunges, I shoe and take out a beautiful trout from a pound
Come there my beautiful
And I prepare it on the edge of the river and put it in my bag
Betty it's time to go back I have there a beautiful trout
Let's see! It is blue and silver!
It's going to make a good meal, on the way!
I find you very nice
It's true, I am
Why you live alone
That's how mom says it's
because you have to be mean
Maybe it's better for me to live alone than with someone who would find me mean
Look! I caught a butterfly!
It is very beautiful, red and black
I let it fly away again
You do well, we do not eat the butterflies
They are just there for their beauty
But the trout also and beautiful
Yes, and in addition it will be good
Why you do not go to the temple on Sunday?
I'm not really
interested in you don't believe in God?
In my way, maybe if
You are a funny guy
I prefer this to bad
Oh it's my mother there
And well join the fast, she must wait
for you Thank you for the fishing
party You were wise and silent, it was a pleasure, see you soon Betty!
See you soon Tommy!
It is a joy this little one to have had it with me in the morning
I go back to prepare the trout with green
beans Then fall asleep the time of a nap
I dream of Betty the trout and Tommy the butterfly
Under the summer
sun Then I will hoe the garden where the weeds grow constantly
The plantain especially, nicknamed the foot of the white man by the Kawaïs
Because it grows where the earth has been worked
I would keep a little for infusions this winter
Against bronchitis and cough
And some flowers to make an ointment against insect
bites Towards the end of the day John comes to see
me Good evening Mr. Tom a beautiful day we had there
I worked all day as a day labourer for Mr. Connor
We spoused the corn
Good job you did there how much did he pay
you He gave me five dollars
It's honest
What I'd like is to have my own farm, like you Mr. Tom
But I can't save money with Rose-Marie, the two girls and the three boys
It's already honest that you support your family
Sam will go back to school this year not true
Yes he just had five Years
I am happy that he has the right to learn numbers and letters like any child of this country
And this is thanks to your father Mr. Tom
I must tell you two things
One that I have already told you and that you continue to ignore
Do not call me Sir
It is not possible that Mr. Tom
Tom is enough!
The second my father fought for justice with others who had the same ideas
In brothers in arms
And it is no more thanks to him than to another that you are free now
But Mr. Tom your father died during the last battle
And it was he who carried the flag under the nose of the enemy
Leading the other riders
And the bullet he received, it's his honor that Mr. Tom
No, that's only war
And praise be to God that it is over
You say God Mr. Tom while you don't set foot in the temple
I have certain convictions that a civil war must not drag on
And that peace is a gift from heaven
For which the Kawai did not fight
The Kawai never had slaves and they have their own problems
They could have been in solidarity
They were for the supply and equipment of the troops
But they did not fight
They lost enough of theirs like that in the battles and in the deportation
But you do not know their history
And I do not want to know
it They should have fought as my father and your father
fought No, I tell you that they were right to stay away
They suffered
enough Let's go instead drink a coffee, eat a honey spread and smoke a cigarette
It's no refusal Mr. Tom
Very well Mr. John
How did you call me?
Mr. John since you do not want to bite Mr. Tom
That, I like it very much Mr. Tom
Comes to taste the old variety of tobacco of the Kawaïs
It is sweet as gingerbread
I am wary of what they can put in tobacco
And in me you do not trust?
Oh so Sir Tom!
So Mr. John if I tell you to taste tobacco, it is only tobacco
And in the volutes of smoke Kawaïs
Who were only clouds of tobacco
The spirit of the two men galloped yet
Drunk of the freedom won by work
And Drunk of the freedom won by the war
Tasting the happiness of a new
peace Without being yet safe from the old grudges
In the early morning I took the path of the little one source
Then to the hill of blackbirds
Where the village Kawaï
is located I arrived at the village escorted by teenagers on horseback
And a swarm of children who ran from here to there
All speaking among themselves this unknown
Indian language And jealously kept secret
Of which I understand only a few words seized at random
And that no one speaks completely
While some Indians know English
perfectly Whose chief who made curious by this fuss
Came out of his tent and greeted me with a gesture of the raised
hand I returned his greeting by bowing the bust
He pointed with his hand to the place where he was used to palavers
A dark red carpet at the entrance of the tent
We sat cross-legged
and his wife brought a pipe and tobacco
He took a pinch, pronounced some Indian words and threw it over his shoulder
Then stuffed the pipe and presented
it to me We had to smoke it in silence, this is the ritual of the talks
And I noticed that he looked worried
He looked at me with a proud and piercing
eye And I looked sometimes at the hearth of the pipe
Sometimes the activities of the village which had resumed their normal
course The tanning of the skins, smoking meats,One
man carved a stick,Another
painted on a skin,Women
sewed skins and adorned them with beads
Painting and carving were reserved for men
Other women cleaned kitchen instruments and dishes
One of them brought three bowls of corn stew, tomatoes and bison
meat And sat in profile between us
Ankagai spoke
He did not speak English even if he knew the language
And the young woman translated
I introduce you to my daughter who comes back from the school of the whites
I am honored to meet
her She can now translate the language of the Kawai that I prefer to speak
I leave to the white men their English
What is there a school of the Kawaïs to learn your language
The young woman translated but never spoke in her name
The situation had something absurd
I broke the situation
The stew is delicious
Thank you
Her father struck me with the look
I smiled
She frowned It was only a remark
She translated
Then she translated the words of Ankagaï
Who told me not to speak to his daughter
She is nevertheless
old enough to understand I think
With or without school of whites
With the school of whites I must restore it in my authority
One thing that the Kawai taught me is freedom
And you seem to neglect his
The whites and the Kawai do not have the same idea of freedom
It is possible, and yet freedom remains one and the same thing
Tom, did you come to philosophize?