Since 1996 Volume XXI


                                Diane Glancy



DIANE GLANCY writes about the effect of education on the Native American. In 1838, when the Cherokee were removed from Georgia, the militia threw the letter plates for the Phoenix newspaper on the ground, which connected the Cherokee syllabary to the earth. It is where Glancy hears the old voices.

Reservation School for Girls


We hang clothes on the line.
His wide trousers and shirt, wind-beat.
They are a small thunder fr
m a prairie cloud. 

The same rapple of the flag on its pole. 

He calls us crow women.
Our black hair shines in the sun.

He drives his car to town, upsets the dust.
We sit on the porch when he is gone.
Does he hear the thunder in his shirts?
We do not do well in his school.
He reads from west to east.
The sun we follow moves the other way.
Our eyes come loose from the page
in the narrow room of the reservation school for girls.
For us the written letters fly like crows 
and hit the glass of the school windows.
Our day is night when we sit in rows of the classroom.
Leaves whirl in the sumac grove.
We watch the crows from the porch.
They call our secret name.
They are black stars in a white sky.

We do not talk of what we do not understand.
We see him return to the school.

We take his clothes from the line.
Set the table with salt and pepper, spoon, knives,
cattails and milk-pods in a jar.
We rub a place in the dusty window of our room
for a moon.
In the distance,
there is one hill like an old buffalo with a heavy head.
In sleep we dream of clothes beating on the line.
Sumac groves and whirling leaves.
A shadow of our fathers at council fires.
In our dreams written letters fly away in the wind.
He reads crow-marks on the page but he does not know crow.

Copyright, Diane Glancy

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