The Reunion

    “The Reunion,” Ensign, July 1989, 47

    The Reunion

    Honorable Mention

    They come from miles around—

    the old, the young, the

    black-haired children with laughing faces,

    there on the wide-open Hopi land,

    with few trees to shade them

    from the heat of the summer sun;

    sudden gusts of wind play tag on the dusty earth,

    sweeping it up into silent crescendos,

    then dancing away as quickly as they come.

    I come invited from my white-man’s land

    to the semi-circle of trucks, with

    tailgates hanging down like huge, flat tongues

    from gaping mouths.

    I watch the young racers come across the

    warm, dry land from the old place to here

    (as tradition dictates), where they

    now live in new, modern homes.

    I have sat with them in their ancient kiva,

    watching the purpose of life unfold

    as colorful kachinas dance to the beat

    of the old one’s drum.

    (Now the young ones dance in a new civic center,

    to the beat of loud electric guitars.)

    You, my Indian daughter, have brought me

    into your traditions,

    as long ago I brought you into mine;

    we have laughed and cried together,

    we have made bread together—in your outdoor oven,

    as well as in my electric one.

    And again I am one with you …

    I am the brown-skinned woman standing over hot stoves,

    stirring thick milk gravy to be sopped up

    with fat biscuits and round, flat fry-bread,

    while yellow roasted corn and paper-thin piki

    wait to be consumed.

    I watch as you teach your young children

    some of my ways and some of yours,

    sweeping up silent memories

    to keep them from dancing away.

    We are not of one blood, but surely of one heart …

    the tie that binds together those who have drifted apart.

    Photography by Craig Dimond