Crying and Looking Back: Somewhere in the Desert Southwest

Aug 15th, 2001 | By | Category: Student 2001
By Liz Hopkins

The hogan began to leak
Wind cascaded through the empty chinks
And now there was no one to chop wood
To carry water
Or to offer human words
Now there was only the silence.
They had moved away
To find jobs.
She could not leave her home
It was all she knew
All she was going to know
Her umbilical cord
Was hidden in the rafters
How could she go?
It was a daily reminder
Of where her heart lay.
It was dusk when she fell
Falling heavy
Dropping the armload of wood
Wood that she had labored
To chop all afternoon
Her white Ked lay on its side
Glowing eerie white
In the moonlight
A beluga whale trapped
In red sand.
The moon rose high now
And her frail breath
Now and again
Chuffed in and out
Now and again
The Northern wind
Blew into her mouth
She tasted the bitterness

She dreamed she was
Once again a little girl
Riding her horse
Across her land.

Liz Hopkins (Rosebud Lakota) is a 34-year old senior in Cultural Resource Management at Sinte Gleska University. A single parent, she enjoys writing stories in the form of poetry and volunteering to work with the elderly. After earning a master’s degree, she and fellow students dream of starting a local consulting firm in cultural resource management. She offers the following advice to tribal college students, “It’s great to dream, but it’s even better to believe in yourself.”

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