On Native Ground

By Rebecca Hatcher Travis

like old men
faithfully bent over
their constant fires
hazy blue hills
work their way toward me
chock full of spirits
of ceremony

traveling through countryside
snuggled against vast prairies
still bearing the dust
of the buffalo

I cross over
cool wooded territory
that sinks into valleys
and climbs to meet the sun
on the other side

brimming with our history
the old ones retell
their stories so well
we stay late to hear them
over and over
until they live
within our hearts

once we settled here anew 
now roots grow deep
in this land too
when I stand
on native ground
my heart knows
I am home

First published in Sunday Evening Poem series, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. 

Copyright © Rebecca Hatcher Travis. All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rebecca Hatcher Travis, an enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, often writes of her indigenous heritage and the beauty of the natural world. Her poetry book manuscript, Picked Apart the Bones, won the First Book Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas and was published by the Chickasaw Press. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, literary journals and online. Ms. Travis is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers and lives in south central Oklahoma, near the land her ancestors settled in Indian Territory days. She is currently working on a new book of poetry.

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