How the Rain Fell in Tennessee
thunder and lightning and wind
made water fly and smoke swim,
and made home an island.
lightning scorched their eyes
thunder came down in black rings.
home was safety.
anxious to go grew into frightened.
they saw large trees coming and carried away.
but home was fastened down.
home was strong. home
was white and downy. home
was a bowl by the fire.
home was close as red on red,
as stripes on stripes. home was a hollow,
black with mosquitos.
the lightning, it was first to escape.
climbed out from on top of a sycamore
next, the thunder walked.
they saw rings of water, cold quarters
with no bottom, and were wondering
how far it was to swim.
Mooney, James. “Myths of the Cherokee / Extract from the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau / of American Ethnology.” iBooks.
pp 283, 284
“The First Fire”