Sister’s Giveaway

Star Infancy 3C219 by Gregory M. Analla of the Institute of American Indian Arts

Star Infancy 3C219 by Gregory M. Analla of the Institute of American Indian Arts

You could have worn the black stripe Pendleton yourself

if you’d come down to Oklahoma to get named in the Quaker church in Hominy.

 

All of us cousins on trust land with our Morrell relatives

near Pettit Street named for our family. Uncle Preston

slumped on the cracked leather sofa, the eagle wing fan clacking

when he lifted his arm from his slim chest to fan us off.

 

You might have stopped using,

if you’d come from some other family.

 

Our Grandmother was serious,

bitter, unyielding, our Mom

loud and loving, talking shit.

 

We know suffering,

carry misery.

 

Red yellow tightly woven white

wavers in heavy cotton

coral snake strong, the

blanket smells of cedar smoke.

 

I wear it tucked under one arm

like an old Wah Zha Zhi woman for you.

 

Ruby Hansen Murray (Osage) is a student in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

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