You, Wynter Adalyne Lulamae Shepherd

You were the biggest surprise. You survived a full term plus two weeks without me knowing. I found out about You on Your birthday, February 7, 2017. I was scared and confused and not sure what to do. But when I met You at 8:13 p.m., You were 8 pounds and 6 ounces, 21 ½ inches long; I was sure…

Open Field Playground

Thirty-six years ago, one of the challenges I had to overcome was moving from Farmington, New Mexico, to a remote area called Whitehorse Lake community. At first, it was hard to adapt with no electricity or running water. I grew up with oil lamps and Coleman lanterns for lighting. While growing up in Whitehorse Lake, I herded sheep for my…

Finding Cheryl

I was once told that if you don’t know your clan, you aren’t really Mvskoke. The first time I heard this, I felt pretty hurt and confused, as if they were accusing me of pretending to be Mvskoke. It made me feel fake. It drove me to hunt for the answer to the question,“ What is my clan?” My mother…

Shell

I like to dive and devour. I dive into books, scroll through the writer’s word patterns and appreciate their craft. I can devour libraries, but never the same book twice. The varied worldviews that an author can deliver, in comparison to mine, keeps me insatiable. I tend to consume the worldviews that are represented in these books. In J.E. Gordon’s…

Exhalation

I am because I chose to be. I am thankful I saved my life to be who I am now. I fell in love at 19 with a 21-year-old guy from around the block. I saw him around the way and we finally met, we struck each other like magnets. He was tall and not handsome, but had swagger like…

The Truth Is Out There

Writing truthfully is an act of bravery. It takes courage to put words into the world, knowing they will be judged and you along with them. The more truth there is to a story, the more powerful it is, and the more vulnerable the one who wrote it. I am proud that every piece collected here represents a facet of…

Autumn’s Reign

All I knew was that I lost one of my best friends. Then, I cried hard, like a dam bursting.

Strawberry Fields

Choking on ditch weed, riding the clutch, and cranking the Beatles, we were off with Geoff perched on top of his car roof.

Shame

Their eyes scanned me up and down, not even pausing in their conversation to each other as they did so.

Tobacco Seeds

My goal was to encourage as many Indigenous people as possible to grow their own tobacco.

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