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by Sharmagne Leland-St.John

It was the rhythm of the dance.
It was the pace of her footsteps.
It was the dust.

Squinting, she looked up at the sun
and told him,
"We need rain."

She told him she would dance
until Great Spirit sent clouds
with thunder and lightning
and wet arrows of rain
for the parched earth.

She told him:
if Grandfather did not send rain
she was willing to die dancing.

And so she danced ...

She danced for the dried willow,
She danced for the spotted calf,
She danced for the brown
burnt silk thread-strands
in the yellow corn.

She danced for the river's
murmuring dark song.

She danced for the blue bird
with the blood-red streak
on his indigo wings
She danced for the cedar,
the sweet grass and sage.

She danced for those who had gone before
and for those yet to come

She danced …




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