NOTE FROM LB
I’m pretty sure I wrote the following about the Sioux Sun Dance ceremony, but as I re-read it now, I think I may be wrong. In my head, I hear not my own voice but that of the Navajo Dog, teaching me another lesson about endurance and joy.
The Sun Dance
by Larry Brody
I wanted to dance the sun dance.
The Sioux hold it every summer, on the Rosebud rez.
It’s their most sacred ceremony,
So of course I wanted to horn in.
To the Sioux, the sun dance is the closest
Any man can get to God. The dancers have
Visions in which they leave their bodies,
And fly up from Mother Earth to Father Sun.
They become initiated into his mysteries,
Which means they learn the truth of all things.
The sun dance is a painful dance,
Three days with only water,
Skewers piercing the dancers’ chests.
They hang from a pole by those skewers,
And they bleed, do these dancers—
How they bleed!
When the dance is over, and the vision gone,
The knowledge remains, as well as the scars.
To show another Sioux your sun dance scars
Is to be trusted instantly,
Without reservation or qualm.
I wanted to go to Rosebud and dance the sun dance,
I wanted the wisdom and acceptance it brings,
But the closest I got was two hundred long miles
And four far months away.
Never will I dance the Sioux sun dance,
But I dance my own every day.
ANOTHER NOTE FROM LB
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Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.