by Dr. Dorene Wiese
(White Wing Woman)
(from another friend)
So long ago, as a young woman, I remember you
I remember you watching me,
Following me on your crutches, telling me ancient stories, as your
Magnificent long black braids shown in the sun.
Gifts you gave me of muskrat, eagle feathers, and a bear claw
medallion. Gifts that have carried me through
The decades to this grey-haired present.
But the desert medicine called
To an Indian journey of love, hate, resistance,
Battles won and defeats endured.
Did you make me fall in love with that Ojibwe warrior
Because you could not have me.
Thirty years later, I cannot look his way
Without thinking about that star filled Stoney night.
And that glorious morning, when life and love filled my spirit.
It is too late to bury that bear claw now.
Our beautiful Chicago Indian elders.
Back from hundreds of years of
Fear, destruction, death, obliteration.
Using the tools of thousands of years of knowledge.
Observation, truth, perseverance, prayer,
Made the way for us.
Through caring, laughter, song and dance.
Carrying our burdens, our tears, our weak spirits
When we could no longer stand.
With a smile, a reminder of days before.
While they hold us up
Spirits united in the joy of the gift of life.
A dull day at the beach.
The Last Fly of Summer (a short poem)
The last fly of summer –
I almost killed her!
Then realized how lonely I will feel
when every living thing
is fled or dead or buried down in front of winter.
I let her be.
Eight days she’s kept me company.
“Not on cups!” I say,
so she sits here on my knee,
small and light and quiet,
but alive like me.
A living, moving creature-friend
in the growing lonely inwardness