Search this blog

Friday, June 28, 2013

For Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, Whose Spirit Is Present Here and in the Dappled Stars

(For we remember the story and must tell it again so we may all live)

By Joy Harjo

Beneath a sky blurred with mist and wind,
I am amazed as I watch the violet
heads of crocuses erupt from the stiff earth
after dying for a season,
as I have watched my own dark head
appear each morning after entering
the next world to come back to this one,
amazed.
It is the way in the natural world to understand the place
the ghost dancers named
after the heart breaking destruction.
Anna Mae,
everything and nothing changes.
You are the shimmering young woman
who found her voice,
when you were warned to be silent, or have your body cut away
from you like an elegant weed.
You are the one whose spirit is present in the dappled stars.
(They prance and lope like colored horses who stay with us
through the streets of these steely cities. And I have seen them
nuzzling the frozen bodies of tattered drunks
on the corner.)
This morning when the last star is dimming
and the busses grind toward
the middle of the city, I know it is ten years since they buried you
the second time in Lakota, a language that could
free you.
I heard about it in Oklahoma, or New Mexico,
how the wind howled and pulled everything down
in righteous anger.
(It was the women who told me) and we understood wordlessly
the ripe meaning of your murder.
As I understand ten years later after the slow changing
of the seasons
that we have just begun to touch
the dazzling whirlwind of our anger,
we have just begun to perceive the amazed world the ghost dancers
entered
crazily, beautifully.

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful. I wrote several essays on Joy Harjo's poetry and I interviewed her, in 2002. Maybe you would like to check the section "Scientific Works", on my homepage: http://joaodemancelos.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for visiting! I will check that out.

    ReplyDelete