- Wiping the Tears, and: Souling
Wiping the Tears
At my grandpa Leo's funeralthey handed out rosary beads in bright colorslike blue and red and yellow and all the kids wore them
He didn't know medidn't know my poetry soI read him a poem
He was the onewho was always singingI knew him as a voice at four o'clockon summer-in-South-Dakota mornings
the one who knew all the wordsto "Amazing Grace" in Lakota Onuniyan tehanl waun
Masica tka wani . . .
the man who asked me to crow-hoparound his kitchen table to show him how I danced
(They say when someone you respect passes onyou stop singing for a year, to honor their memory . . .)
At my grandpa's funeralI kept those rosary beads in my pocketmy singing voice in my throat [End Page 18]
There is a mystery about the coming and going of the birds.Albert Field Gilmore
Catch a soul through hollowed boneIt is a custom among some
And birds when stretching their wingsAre gathering souls
To hide them among their feathersFrom crown to nape [End Page 19]
Erin Bad Hand deals with issues of multicultural identity in her poetry. She received her MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is working on her first full-length book of poetry.