1989
The Reunion
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“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