The South Corner of Time hopi navajo papago yaqui tribal literature

Acknowledgements Introduction
Hopi Literature
Navajo Literature
Papago Literature
Yaqui Literature
Native American Literature: Other Sources


To Some
Few Hopi
Ancestors

Wendy Rose

No longer the drifting
and falling of wind
your songs have changed,
they have become
thin willow whispers
that take us by the ankle
and tangle us up
with red mesa stone,
that keep us turned
to the round sky,
that follow us down
to Winslow, to Sherman,
to Oakland, to all the spokes
that have left earth's middle.
You have engraved yourself
with holy signs, encased yourself
in pumice, hammered on my bones
til you could no longer hear
the howl of the missions
slipping screams through your silence,
dropping dreams from your wings.

Is this why
you made me
sing and weep
for you?
Like butterflies made
to grow another way
this woman is chiseled
on the face of your world.
The badger-claw of her father
shows slightly in the stone
burrowed from her sight
facing west from home.

From: Wendy Rose. "To Some Few Hopi Ancestors" from Academic Squaw (Blue Cloud Press, 1977). Copyright ©1977 by Wendy Rose. Poem reprinted by permission of the author.

As printed in Larry Evers, ed. The South Corner of Time. Tucson, Ariz.: The University of Arizona Press, ©1980, p. 38.
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