Returning to one’s ancestral homeland offers time for reflection, but also reminds us that even these sacred places are often threatened. Read more →
I extract curled photos from a
bowed cigar box
black-and-white images bleached.
I clutch a harlequin cat, wesa; our eyes
slit against valley sun.
Red hen plucking plum tree roots
strums an umbilical song.
Ears scan broadcast pitch
ancient keening wakes my
brother’s brown dog
whining danger in dreams.
Headlights dance through Chaco nights
—yellow orbs burrow in Anchorage snow
walls of Ponderosa bark ignite,
waya, wolf clan, salutes—
tongues speak silent howls.
I fly, silver wings above clouds,
tracking yesterday through winds
tuned to stellar frequency—
laughter like water, ama,
ripples beside a bank of bowing willows.
A child in a yellow kitchen
pushes against door knob twisting.
Come back, Mama, I cry.
(wesa = cat
waya = wolf
ama = water)
Vivian Mary Carroll is a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts.