It’s All Good

A ray of the sun peeks over the mountain
A cold trickle of water slides down to the nearby stream
Furry animals come out of their hiding places

Gusts of smoke as you exhale the evening air
Billowing dust clouds emerge after the car passes
In the midst of it all, you see figures everywhere

Open fireplace, small giggles, faded smiles
Salty drymeat stew and salty tears of warm embraces
Odors of hills, brothers, and frybread

Dust of iron ponies on a hot night drown the drumbeat
Blanketed figures in the moonlit paths scurry to the lodge
Traffic slows as the songs increase

Whistles blow in unison and the dance proceeds
A face lightens like turning a knob on a Coleman lamp
Sage, cedar, and dust fill the air
Fireplaces burn out one by one
Spirals of white entwine to the stars
White powder hisses as the water interrupts the calm of the night

A little rest before the sunrise
Open mouth, tongues wave and let out a holler
murmurs in the tepees, shhhhhhhhhhhh

Mary Shakespeare, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho in Wyoming, was raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation and is a single parent of three children. She will graduate with a degree in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in May, 1998. She has studied both Native American and European writers and plans to write fiction and non-fiction from a Native American point of view that will enrich Arapaho and other school children’s cultural education. Photo of Mary Shakespeare with her daughter, LaDonna Dewey.

 

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