Ghost Dance

By Sara Littlecrow-Russell b. 1969 Sara Littlecrow-Russell
Two hundred seventy
Ghost Dancers died dreaming
That humanity would drown
In a flood of White sins.

Then the renewed earth
Would reclaim city and town,
Leaving only Ghost Dancers
And those who lived by nature’s laws.

History books say the threat is gone.
The Ghost Dance died with the ancestors—
Wovoka and his sacred dream
Were destroyed.

Each time it rains,
I go out to the sidewalk,
Where the tree roots
Have broken the concrete
Listening to the water’s whispering:

“It is coming soon.”

Sara Littlecrow-Russell, “Ghost Dance” from The Secret Powers of Naming. Copyright © 2006 by Sara Littlecrow-Russell. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.

Source: The Secret Powers of Naming (University of Arizona Press, 2006)

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Poet Sara Littlecrow-Russell b. 1969

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Of Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) and Han-Naxi Métis heritage, Sara Littlecrow-Russell is a lawyer and professional mediator as well as a poet. She earned a BA in medical anthropology from Hampshire College and a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. Her collection of poetry, The Secret Powers of Naming (2006), won an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights; it also . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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