It is I in the cities, in the bars, in the
dustless reaches of cold eyes who
vanishes, who leans
underbalanced into nothing; it is I
without learning, I without song, who
dies & cries the death time, who
blows from place to place hanging onto
dandelion dust, dying over & over. It is I
who had to search & turn the stones,
half-dead crawl through the bones, let
tears dissolve the dry caves where
woman-ghosts roll piki & insects move
to keep this world alive.
It is I who hold the generous bowl that
flows over with shell & stone,
that is buried in blood, that places its
shape within rock carvings.
It is I who die bearing cracked turquoise
& making noise
so as to protect your fragile immortality
0 Medicine Ones.
From: Wendy Rose. "Vanishing Point: Urban Indian" from Long Division: a Tribal History (Strawberry Press, 1976). 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. 39.