An Anasazi Woman Speaks

I was here. I came this way.

With the rabbit brush
You dig from your fields
I wove a carrying basket
And worked into it a dark
Design of eagles’ claws.
My signature - inked
With sneezeweed dyes.

With the feathers you pluck
From your turkey and burn
I wove a blanket,
A cape to wear when
Winds blow chilly.

With the yucca you ignore
I shod my feet and washed my hair
Weaving sandals from the leaves
And making soapweed suds from the roots.

With the yarrow leaves the wind scatters
I made tea, hot and strong.
To warm and cure and calm.

With the clay beneath your feet
That gumbo which sticks to your boots,
I coiled pots, and mugs,
And sacred feather holders.

With the soft inner bark
Of the juniper, I diapered my baby,
Or crushed it between my hands
To make a nest for the spark
From my fire bow.

I ground red hematite
Between two stones and mixed it
With my honey-colored urine
Then slapped my painty palm
Against the canyon wall, saying,

I was here. I came this way.

Ginny Odenbach
Reprinted from: On Nursing: A Literary Celebration: An Anthology by Margretta Madden Stiles and Patricia Moccia