Keepers of the Fire
BY JANEEN BERTSCHE JOHNSON
The Potawatomi* once kept their fires
alive along these shores.
Now the fiery maples and sycamores light
the course of the Elkhart River wending its way through northern Indiana,
harboring dangerous bacteria from agricultural run-off
yet home to the muskrat, the great blue heron, and to my soul.
Flow, river, flow.
Flow justice to those who suffer because of polluted air and poisoned water.
Flow hope to those who fear it is too late to stop climate disaster.
Flow persistence to those who imagine and embody more sustainable ways to live.
Let us keep these fires—justice, hope, persistence–
*Potawatomi means “Keepers of the fire.”