Name Her Remembered

Name Her Remembered
Stacey Potter

A false taste of spring rests
heavy and clean in the back of
my mouth today.
It is December, so
I know the scent of wildflowers,
of insects hatching in droves
on her golden prairie,
is only a lie.

I have a feeling she would have loved
today with its blue skies
and soft air creeping quietly to
dusk, clouds purpling to black bruises
against the Christmas night.

There are names for what she was.
Unci.
Ina.
Wastelakapi.
Words only, not enough to tell,
never enough to tell
what the trembling
throb of buffalo hide beaten
white with drumming told,
the sob of the men’s voices as
they sang her home.

She is the last, they said,
she will not be forgotten in the long slow stages
by the young
who have no true notion
of their loss.
She will return sighing
to her golden prairie,
waning
like the bittersweet tang
of spring in winter.

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