“Four Indians,” Albert Bierstadt, WikiArt.

Part 5: World, Living Bird’s Egg

Curious how prairie friendships begin and
Endure, my life with Dane-zah Indians, we
Pemmican made, and with my coins, enough
To buy canoe, horses, pots and pans. Their
Language learnt, I Aaron Ross, with warrior
Galloping Wind conversed. Around night
Fires, rivers, hunting, beliefs we talked, first
Understanding of their culture, summer
Blended into fall. Advice of Griz McKinzey,
I recalled, “Don’t approach man’s gear, his
Whiskey, or his women, children, white or
Indian.” What if they approached me?

Thus was Dane-zah maiden, Erenay, tribes
Held in highest esteem, as Galloping Wind
Explained, she walked amongst the stars,
Guided prairie peoples. Upon first meeting,
I gazed upon her face, dark eyes, lights of
Divine wisdom touched inner man. Of maps
Erenay was fascinated, true nature of earth,
Holy Ones revealed, world was living bird’s
Egg, sun and moon suspended, her mind
Alighting upon distant snow-capped peaks,
Wonders witnessed, beaver dam origins of life.

Anguished pain, last one amongst the Dane-
Zah to realize, I had fallen in love with Erenay.
Each tribe mother and father knew, silence
They had kept, until Galloping Wind stated,
“We know she has taken your heart; she has
Given hers to you.” At perplexing romance,
People were concerned-conflicted, their
Future, continuance held in my arms, lured
To map-drawn mountains, promise of vistas
Panoramic: McKenzie River, Yukon. As
Galloping Wind confided, “Without Erenay,
Beaver Dam peoples would be spiritually lost.”

In this poem, Aaron Ross’ unnamed Dane-zah warrior-friend
is Galloping Wind. From here the story-line takes a turn.
Thanks for reading.

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