A tape of the Delaware language sounds
a false but cuprous tone in limpid air.
The words melt by turns at Wahunsonacook's cloak.
They trickle into pools of meaning:
a drop for 'now' or 'then,' a ruddy stream
flowing past the cases filled with flints
and progressing with the beating chant
that invoke their common mysteries,
the most ordinary of sacred things --
a scraped deerskin lashed with sinew
bearing objects formed from mollusk shells:
thirty-four disks denote the kingdoms
of Tsenacommacah, the known world.
In its center an archer stands, flanked
by a pair of horned familiars.
Nothing is simpler than the throbbing voice,
the closest language left to theirs that died.