Weeping Women

By Rain Prud'homme-Cranford

When we weep

Mothers cry with us.

When we weep

Grandmothers pat their eyes.



Bits of blood and spit,

Dried salt and amniotic fluid

Make tears falling briefly,

Before we push them away--

As all weeping women before us.

Gathering strength from toes

Rooted in soil memories

And arms strong with

Carrying baskets

Of babies.

Carrying baskets

Of culture.



Weeping women cling

To the edge of dream

Crying for their lost children,

Crying for their husbands.

With sobs too deep and full

Of histories of biting back moans

That their tears fall as silent as death.



Against the rough periphery of memory

The whimper of ladies’ lamentations

Carve tributaries of grief inherent

In blood, from the fishing towns of

The Mississippi river to the

Buffalo plains of Saskatchewan.

Separated by geography.

United by blood.

They sing songs of sorrow

Into our unconscious actions---

Laced with brittle

Hope,

Survival,

Unstoppable Grace.


Copyright © Rain Prud'homme-Cranford. All rights reserved.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rain Prud'homme-Cranford is a poet, academic, musician and spoken word artist. Currently she is a Sutton Fellowship Doctoral student in English at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory, winner of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas First Book Award, Poetry. Her work has appeared in various journals including Ahani: Indigenous American Poetry and American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Rain’s critical work focuses on (re)inserting Mvskogean and Creole Indigeneity into Southern Literary experience. 

"We have stories / as old as the great seas / breaking through the chest / flying out the mouth, / noisy tongues that once were silenced, /all the oceans we contain / coming to light." —Linda Hogan

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