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I Will Dance For You
by Sharmagne Leland-St.John

When you call me "squaw"
You have no idea how much it hurts
To hear you refer to me
As something so perverse
When you yell out "Hey, Poccahantas!"
It only shows your ignorance
So I go to the powwow and I pray for you
Every prayer a dance
And every dance a prayer
I will pray for you
To become more aware
That your words can
Break my heart in two
I know sometimes
You speak your words in jest
But still like arrows loosed
They pierce my breast
I will dance for you
I will pray for you
Every prayer a dance
Every dance a prayer
I  will dance for you

In my culture we pray by dancing.
The Rain Dance, The Ghost Dance, The Corn Dance, The Sun Dance, The Grass
Dance, etc., are all expressions of prayer to the Great Spirit Wakan Tanka.
This poem in it's own way is also a prayer to stop racial slurs and
discrimination against us and our culture.

After the Viet Nam War scientists spent millions of dollars studying the
effect of war and death on plant life. They spent millions trying to see if
plants responded to music. All they had to do was ask our Elders. We have had
the answer for millions of years. What did they think the Corn Dance was all

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