Claudine Cain is editor of the literary journal Black Elephant. Recent fiction has appeared in Eunoia Review and Literally Stories. Claudine is also a visual artist whose work has been featured by Clooch Magazine and others. Her spirit animal is spiritually significant and an actual animal. She inhabits brown skin and currently resides in North Carolina where she attends the University of North Carolina Greensboro as a major in literature with a minor in philosophy. When she is not writing or painting, Claudine can be found flying kites, setting faery traps, or being chased by butterflies. Personal statement: “I was seeing dead people long before that kid made it cool.”
Girl, Calling the Lost
I once knew a girl that,
when she looked at you,
crows flew out of her eyes
and rain gathered in her hair.
She used to haunt the hill where we
laid all of those old robes to rest,
as if she were less of this world
and more of the next.
At night she would light the pipe
and sing with her sister–
any owl passing under the moon.
In the morning she would
call the spirits of our ancestors
and gather them for ceremony
where the sweetgrass bends
to kiss the face of our mother.
I could never see them; the elders–
glancing back at us
through the ceaseless mercy
of time without end.
But I could see her, dancing with the Spirit
of the sacred circle, singing into the echo
of ancient voices, waving her arms
and calling the lost home.