Delineated Indian

Oh God, here I stand.
I’ve forgotten to talk in a tongue
of a language long dead.


I watch them wrap
a bone and bead choker
around their throats,
audacious about their ancestry.
The proof is on the card
stored in the wallet of the wannabe,
This is my descendency.
I bleed your blood, too.

Shaking shells on pow-wow road,
full-bloods need no card
to dance their proof of permanence
onto the ground of their grandfathers’ wars.
They sing songs that rise
through the bones of their being.
If you dare approach,
they’ll tell you they dropped
down the birth canal
with porcupine quills
strapped to their heads,
and an eagle feather bustle
tied to their butts.
Their eyes smile when wannabes
believe their stories.

It’s the half-breed
who learned to carry
a dagger in each hand.
One for the red; One for the White
Accepted and denied equally by both sides,
she weaves along fence lines
that delineates between Indians.

There’s never enough blood to satisfy history;
and always too much to be freed completely.


Oh God, make me blind
to the day when I’ll bleed
the last bit of Indian out of me.


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