Inside

Linda Hogan Click to read more...

lhoganLinda Hogan is a Native American (Chickasaw) poet, storyteller, teacher, fiction writer and activist who has received grants or prizes from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, Stand Magazine and others. In 1990 her book Mean Spirit was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Hogan’s other books include Seeing through the Sun, Solar Storms, Power, Rounding the Human Corners and Indios. She has been a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Oklahoma.  “Inside” first appeared in Shenandoah 54/3.

Inside the infant
is already the path they will travel.
It is how the newly born
will grow to become a woman, a man,
salvaged from other lives and worlds,
and a heart that never rests.

How something is made flesh
no one can say. The buffalo soup
becomes a woman
who sings every day to her horses
or summons another to her private body
saying come, touch.
This is how
it begins
and the gathered berries,
the wild grapes
enter the body
to become
human wine
which can love
where nothing created is wasted
the swallowed grain
takes you through the dreams
of another night,
the deep meat becomes hands
strong enough to work.

But I love the most
The white-haired creature
eating green leaves.
The sun shines there
Swallowed, showing in her face
taking in all the light,

and in the end
when the shadow from the ground
enters the body and remains,
in the end, you still might say,
this is myself
still unknown, still a mystery.

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