I am all in pieces and covered in mud.
The Ferryman excavates and gathers me up. He washes me clean, face and hair, takes the pieces of me to the grandmother, head and arms, legs and feet. He lays the pieces gently down on the red blanket. The grandmother takes me up into her lap and begins to sew me back together. As she sews she sings quietly.
Behind us, inland, the Buffalo Man lies down and closes his eyes. I do not know the meaning of this. It disturbs me to see him prone and still. Is this surrender? Defeat? Abandon? Have I lost him? I don’t know.
Little Bit is on my chest, pounding me with her little fists. “I told you,” she cries. “I told you, but you didn’t listen.”
“What did you tell me?”
“I told you to wait for me.”
Such a small voice in all the tumult. How will I ever learn to listen?
The grandmother shifts me in her lap and continues stitching.