Recently I was looking for inspiration for a poem and got lost in the expertly crafted poetry that I’ve collected over the years. When I read this one again, I knew it had to be shared.
ON THE EDGE
Yes, I lived on the edge of Mother Earth
Then, but ran my toes through her green hair.
Still, my heart lives within her heart and beats
With a similar yet quicker music.
And I too, remember that spring of laughter.
The music of love that fell like water from a
Cliff, spread like a child’s perfect hoop.
My heart a gold and black polka dotted skirt
Flared over toes in spiked heels that brushed
That precarious edge.
Remember that hot, humid afternoon that honored
Elders at Ghost Hawk Park, and the Thunders drummed
Us home, sang and danced against the sky, let down
Skirts of water while I danced drenched in warm rain
And laughter? You watched from the safety of the
Dry worried house.
I lived on the edge, then. Now, I walk quiet
On moccasined feet, feed birds, not lions.
Sometimes, I lift my voice in song, borrow words
From the young one, long ago, who stepped back
Over the edge. “There was a man I loved so dearly
I will see my man again.” How we laughed
When the buck sprang from woods below.
— Charlene Blue Horse
Charlene Blue Horse, Lecturer
English and Minority Affairs
B.S., M.S.T., Portland State University
Ogalala Lakota poet, speaker and teacher.