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2017 National Student Poet

"Nizhonie, Or One in Three
When Creator made Nizhonie,
He made her copper. Copper like canyon
Sand, copper like saccharine
Twilights, copper like chew-and-swallow hair and rain
Collected in red rocks after sleepy
Nighttime storms.
When Creator made Nizhonie,
He cradled her close with a hand
Like violet heavens. He bathed her in yucca froth
And fed her sweet, sinewy mutton,
Dressed her in bountiful squashblossoms,
Sang her to balmy sleep.
I love you, I love you,
Sleep now, my daughter.
Ayóó ánííníshí.
When Creator made Nizhonie,
He lassoed stars for her eyes,
Molded her nose from red mountains with
A tender fatherly pride. He fashioned
Her two turquoise lips like the soft bend of the river-
A cupid’s bow so young
He could still pick out the shadows
Of his own fingerprints.
When Creator listened to Nizhonie,
He loved her songs that rose
In a prairie-stained blush.
He would lay his brown chin in his hand
While bees and snakes fell to pink stone,
As they, too, heard the corn silk
That rolled from bent-river lips.
Tortoiseshell melodies sprung
From his child like summer penstemon.
His precious daughter,
So alive she seemed blue.
When Creator made Nizhonie,
He made her copper. Copper like sunbaked butterfly
Wings, copper like lapping nectar from August
Honeysuckle, copper like skin-flavored warmth on the back
Of sour coins. He made her copper
Because he loved her,
Never dreaming of the day her russet
Knees and fingertips would ignite.
Another’s hatred like manmade blazes
In dry brush.
Copper skin,
Copper eyes, copper
Candy-sticky, air-cooled syrup,
Tart, metallic blood—
So when her songs stopped flowing
From swolled oases plump with child,
When the man with skin like cream and ghosts
Came to her land and snatched her away,
Creator cried because he loved her.
His Nizhonie,
So alive she seemed blue.
I love you, I love you.
Sleep comes too soon.
Ayóó ánííníshí, ach'é'é."

- Kinsale Hueston
Sep/7/2017, 7:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog

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