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My Dad, in America

Your hand on my jaw
           but gently

and that picture of you
punching through snow
           to bring two deer, a gopher,

and a magpie
to the old Highwalker woman

who spoke only Cheyenne
           and traced our footprints

on leather she later chewed to soften.
           We need to know in America there is still blood

for forgiveness.
Dead things for the new day.

Shann Ray


January 2013

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