Wokiksuye

By Allison Adelle Hedge Coke b. 1958 Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
—in borrowed language in honor and memory of Bill Ice
 
 
Like a horse’s tail
so thick, black
down past his waist
beautiful.    Wanyaka.
Chemotherapy—
white man’s
man-made cancer . . .
doesn’t distinguish
between good or bad
cells . . . just kills.
The spirit is connected
to the hair at the
crown—pahin hocoka.
The hair falls
the spirit goes,
the will is
connected no more.
Leukemia—
cancer of the
White
Blood Cell.
Lakota wicasa
Oglala wica
Ha Luta Oyate    wicozani sni
Kuja, unsika
Canku Wakan o mani
ma wanagi o mani
wasigla
ceya
wokiksuye
wokiksuye
wopilamaye
miksuya
Canku Luta o mani
Canku Waste o mani
wohitika
iyomakpi, iyomakpi
ake—anpetu
anpetu waste
I knew him well.

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, “Wokiksuye” from Visit to Teepee Town. Copyright © 1999 by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press. www.coffeehousepress.org

Source: Visit to the Teepee Town (Coffee House Press, 1999)

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Poet Allison Adelle Hedge Coke b. 1958

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Living, Health & Illness, The Body, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Elegy, Free Verse

 Allison Adelle  Hedge Coke

Biography

Of Huron, Metis, Cherokee, French Canadian, Portuguese, Irish, Scot, heritage, poet and educator Allison Adelle Hedge Coke grew up in North Carolina, Texas, Canada, and the Great Plains region. She attended North Carolina State University and earned an AFAW in creative writing from the Institute for American Indian Arts and an MFA from Vermont College. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Year of the Rat (1996); the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness, The Body, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Elegy, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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