My Dad, in America

By Shann Ray Shann Ray
Your hand on my jaw
              but gently

and that picture of you
punching through snow
              to bring two deer, a gopher,

and a magpie
to the old Highwalker woman

who spoke only Cheyenne
              and traced our footprints

on leather she later chewed to soften.
              We need to know in America there is still blood

for forgiveness.
Dead things for the new day.

Source: Poetry (January 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2013
 Shann  Ray


Shann Ray's Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011) is a work of creative nonfiction political theory. His short story collection is American Masculine (Graywolf Press, 2011).

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Poems by Shann Ray

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Animals, Religion, The Spiritual, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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