Barbara Attaway

Rookie (Beaumont, Texas, USA)

Is Buffalo Jerky Big Medicine


Shhhhh.....stay quiet
There is big medicine in being reverent
Around Medicine Wheel
One must esteem this place, son of my son
I have heard that over the ages
Souls have come here to touch the sky
Seeking spiritual nourishment and solace
While offering gifts in honor of great spirits

Will spirit of Crazy Horse
Might heart of Sacajawea
Be offended at our sacrifice
Of buffalo jerky

A sweet grass braid woven
With strands of unfulfilled dreams
Bundles of sunflower-yellow and
Blood-red prayer cloths, damp with tears
Or a beaded bag of secrets
We saw a ring of silver lovingly laid down
All seem more appropriate contributions
For atonement

Is buffalo jerky big medicine
It is all I have, save this shirt on my back
Spirits need no shirts, son of my son, nor buffalo jerky
Though it may be provision for Raven, he has far to fly

Great spirit of Buffalo ought be the one
Who is offended

Submitted: Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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Comments about this poem (Is Buffalo Jerky Big Medicine by Barbara Attaway )

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  • Rookie L. K. Thayer (12/24/2007 9:57:00 AM)

    I am from N. Dakota, this poem really resonates the American Indian plight.
    Your images are very rich and you have n original voice. thank you. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Brian Dorn (4/28/2006 11:34:00 PM)

    Barbara, a unique poem with a real Native American feel. Interesting how the buffalo jerky seemed an inadaquate sacrifice... I could certainly see how this might be the case, obviously you wouldn't want to offend. Good write!
    Brian (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Chuck Audette (3/29/2006 9:33:00 AM)

    Very unique poem, the setting and story are quite entertaining, food for thought, so to speak. -chuck (Report) Reply

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