First Song

Joseph Bruchac

Who sang

the first song?


What human throat

first set free a note

of joy or sorrow

for another

to hear?


My ancestors say

Song was always here.


Wind sang

in the stones and trees.

Rivers and streams

sang as they flowed.


Birds sang

from the branches,

frogs sang

from the marshes,

insects filled

the summer nights

with songs.


But who was the first

of our kind to sing?


Perhaps it is best

to say all life is breath

and breath, ah,

breath is song.


Joseph Bruchac is a writer of books relating to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a particular focus on northeastern Native American and Anglo-American lives and folklore.

Sportswear Design | Nike