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The woman,
the one outside the lodge. 


Fearful of scattering the corn,
with the flaming red bird now risen
from the ashes of The Great Fire,
and the great fires preceding. 

The bird was in flight,
with a fresh eye for golden corn.

Its wings rushed down upon the face of the plains,
the wind whipping the woman’s hair and stinging her face

“CHAAC…”

The sweeping arms of the willows.
The slow, massive, steady churning of the wind.

The low booming of thunder in the distance –

the flashes of lightning behind the face of the mountain. 

“CHAAC…TOK…I’CHAAK…”

The fury and rage of the wind as Air
strikes out and meets the bird in flight. 

The tussle.
The tossing above. 

“CHAAK! TOK! I’CHAAK!
Scatter your corn!
Scatter it now!
All you have left!
All you can plant!
I will bring the rain!
Now I Come!”


And the woman heard and saw, 
and moved quickly to gather the last of her strength.

And she rushed to the dark field ahead.
And as the heavens raged above, 
she flung open her right hand 
– clutched and hidden in a bag –  
upon the face of the land, 
casting where she could, 
and how she could, 
again and again, 
until all her seed was gone. 

“CHAAK! TOK! I’CHAAC!
Into the lodge, 
Great Mother of Life, 
for medicine dwells there within!”

And the Mother, 
cold and fragile and weary,
and upon death’s door,
stumbled her way to the lodge, inside
…where Holding Eagle was waiting.

———

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