Amelia’s First Ski Run

By Nora Marks Dauenhauer b. 1927

Eaglecrest, Juneau, February 24, 1989

Amelia, space-age girl
at top of Sourdough
makes her run with Eagle Grandpa Dick,
Raven girl, balancing on space,
gliding on air
in Tlingit colors:
black pants, turquoise jacket,
yellow shoulder patches,
black hair like feathers
clinging to her head,
face the color of red cedar.
Once in a while
I could even see space
between her legs and skis.
Diving downhill
she continues
side to side, slalom style,
following Grandpa’s red boots.
Then the two figures swoop around the
swishing downhill,
shooshing home.

Nora Marks Dauenhauer, “Amelia’s First Ski Run” from Life Woven with Song. Copyright © 2000 by Nora Marks Dauenhauer. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.

Source: Life Woven with Song (University of Arizona Press, 2000)

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Poet Nora Marks Dauenhauer b. 1927

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature


Nora Marks Dauenhauer was born in Juneau, Alaska, and grew up in Juneau and Hoona; her father was a fisherman and carver, her mother a beader, and the family lived at times on a fishing boat and in seasonal camps. As a member of the Tlingit tribe, Dauenhauer’s first language was Tlingit; she did not learn English until she was eight. She earned a BA in anthropology from Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage and is the author . . .

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Poems by Nora Marks Dauenhauer

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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