When Ice Grows Among Feathers

November 5, 2011

Native American Heritage Month

I find it interesting, when I am with folk who are trying to make a point in a conversation or a presentation concerning race or ethnicity (even folk who make a living in anti-racism work) and they make their list of people of color, they most always say, black or African-American and Latino or Mexican-American and Asian.  Seldom, if ever, do they say Native-American or American Indian.  Why is that?

John Know-The-Crow
1880

I was a blue-winged bird
sitting silent in the marsh,
his brothers flown away.
Ice grew among his feathers.

I saw a snake
in the forest rock.
She gave me warning, I gave her none;
I wear hers against my breast.

I saw the buffalo in rut.
They could not see me
for the earth ran away into the sky,
and the sound carried off the sun.

I saw the turtle on the grass,
too big, too blind to move.
His neck died beneath my ax,
but the claws walked on toward the water.

I saw my mother and my father die,
and the solders took me away.

Marnie Walsh

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