My Dad, in America

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.

More Poems by Shann Ray