American Horse

___________________Fastest runner in Nebraska, Joe
___________________American Horse, cousin-in-law,
___________________Oglala Sioux Tribal President,
___________________served the People humbly and fairly.

___________________We sit outside Ethel Blackcrow’s home
___________________in Potato Creek housing cluster
___________________while a Native American Church
___________________ceremony ends in the basement.

___________________Ethel’s the keeper of the buttons
___________________for South Dakota, trusted elder,
___________________cured of cancer by Peyote Man
___________________way back when carrying her first child.

___________________On her living room wall hangs a big
___________________Smithsonian photo of seated
___________________American Horse, flanked by two wives,
___________________his five sons behind like bodyguards.

___________________Ethel’s perched on her mom’s buckskin knee,
___________________dressed European style in lace_
___________________and pleated calico, unlike her
___________________stepsister; still, braids hang to her waist.

___________________A name like American Horse was
___________________earned in battle by grabbing a dead
___________________soldier’s army-brand horse, or bringing
___________________the People the whole army camp herd.

___________________Proud name passed down four generations:
___________________church elder and healer; long distance
___________________runner and leader; may the next kin
___________________bring honor to American Horse.

American Horse & wife

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