Clan Song


amber eyes, like fire

warm me with



a song in the night

to sisters and brothers

not a romantic song

of freedom or such notions

but rather a song of



He Wo Ni Tsa La Gi

I am from a long line of free spirits

of Oo go yo s ti

and of Moses Black Fox

of Qua tsi te li co

and Woman of Wolf Clan.

I am of Sallly Rogers

who taught my dad to track

and of Granny Mag

whose medicine healed his head wound.

I am of Wi hi ma

who refused to forget

he was “Indian”

even when his uncles

punished him for fear

–of discovery.

He remembered and

his mother remembered

and her father remembered, until

there was no longer a need to fear

Oklahoma. We stayed in Kentucky

in the hills and the hollers

in the nooks and crannies, taking on

White names until it was safe to be

Indian again.

I am she who walks with light,

a whispering wind

who touches the Earth

I am child of these rivers

daughter of these hills.

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