Cheyenne Baby

Aug 15th, 2003 | By | Category: Student 2003
By Athena Marie Gray

To my daughter, Hannah Rose Gray,

I am a Cheyenne woman,
strong, independent, free.
I consider myself to be moral
but this day, I don’t know.

The doctor says to me,
calm as a cavalry colonel ready to attack,
“We could do an abortion.
You know, there is nothing wrong with that choice.
Lots of women make that decision.”

That word, abortion,
rolls off her tongue and into my ears.
As, I am sure, for the hundredth time for Cheyenne women
the gunshot wound hits my heart.
Is it me killing?
Or is it the White Man again?—
Exchange the cavalry uniform for the medical jacket.

I think, “What would my ancestors think of this?
Would they want me to kill another Cheyenne
when they fought to save our lives?
Would they be proud of me?
Is this a silent bloody war against my people
hiding under the name of abortion?”

Some say it’s just a choice, not a life.
I say, “Cheyenne blood, Cheyenne traditions,
Cheyenne future, Cheyenne baby.”
I say, “Our Cheyenne heritage.”

Athena Marie Gray (Northern Cheyenne) is currently seeking an associate of arts degree at Chief Dull Knife College (Lame Deer, MT). She plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She enjoys writing and believes some of the greatest things come out of someone writing their passion, heart, or dreams. She hopes this poem inspires emotion in readers.

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