Grandma’s Basket

In her delicate and aged hands,

thin strips of three-leaf sumac are carefully laced and woven.


Kóodęę’ hózhǫ́dóo

Shitsijí’ hózhǫ́dóo

Shikédęę’ hózhǫ́dóo

Shikáagí, shiyaagí hozhǫ́dóo

T’áá ałtso shinaagóó hózhó dóo’


In beauty I walk

With beauty before me I walk

With beauty behind me I walk

With beauty above me I walk, with beauty around me

I walk It has become beauty again


Sacred and alive with caring hands,

Sunbeams light her creations—

embraced with beauty,

She is the only home I have ever known.


Haalánee’ (No direct English translation; used as a term of endearment)

Alyssa Nakai is a student at Navajo Technical University.

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