So we won’t have no need of more Slave Songs again

Allena Bassett

Today there was no triumph
She did not win
so she gathered herself
and her “bleeding heart”
to rest and set to rights
her “tender” self

She called down the Moon
The Grandmothers came too
and took her Home

Laid her down on a bed of sweetgrass
Braided sage smoke
into her hair
Rubbed her down with
oil and Earth

Coyote curled at her feet
Crow watched from the edges
all shadows and laughter
The fire kicked and popped
as They hummed
the Old Songs
while They worked
and She wept her wounds whole
After a while
they kissed her forehead
and sent her back

She didn’t want to go

but her heart had to bleed
once again

It was the only way
to hold back
the twisted tides

So she said her goodbyes
and set about her return
to do her Work
she had signed on for
so very long ago