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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