In the distance, I could see others who looked like me, eating desert grains and lying beneath pinyon and thornberry bush. - Dolan Geiman
When I first came to this country, it was on a ship. I was young then. No one knew my name, and they spoke in whips and spit. I ate bits of grain that I found in the cracks in the floor. I drank nothing. When we landed I was sent out to carry loads up and down the rocky roads to towns unbuilt. A rusted pitchfork and a pile of twine were my companions most nights, along with the cold moon that I could see outside my stall.
One night, 200 years later, everything changed. I was older then. Someone was outside in the dark, moving in the mid of night. He spoke my name, my true name, and I was startled. He landed on the windowsill and said his name was Codorniz, and tonight, I was to be free. He flew down and with his gentle wings unclasped my leather restraints and led me out into the night. The cold moon was hiding its face behind a red mesa: it didn't see me trotting down into the darkness of the canyon.
The next day I awoke with my new brother in a sea of brightly colored cacti and stones. "Welcome home, brother Burro", he said, as he pecked at a juniper berry. I gazed upon the desert landscape and in the distance could see others, who looked like me, eating desert grains and lying beneath pinyon and thornberry bush. That night, Codorniz brought more friends to greet me - Coyote, Jackrabbit, Tortoise - and we sang songs that painted the dark sky with vivid shades of blues and greens.
As I drifted off to sleep, the song of Coyote reminded me that everyone had made a journey to arrive here, to this sacred place.