Sherman Alexie’s Top 10 Native American Poets

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Laura Da’


Laura Da'

Laura Da’s poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Red Ink, Hanging Loose, and First Intensity. Laura is a member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. She studied creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the University of Washington. Da’ currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son.

Measuring the Distance to Oklahoma

Driving past Vantage:
   damp sign proclaiming ginkgo fossils
and iron sculpture of wild horses on the ridge.

At the turn of the last century,
Cayuse ponies were bred with European draft horses.
   A leaner, tougher work animal for the logging fields.

Trumpeter swans stitch
   the sallow slab of sky.
       Two birds swap point position
       to cut the air’s polarity.

Path that pulls the taste
of mixed blood into my mouth.
Late February
and I am three weeks pregnant. I drive
   and the Columbia loosens
       my dad’s easy silence.
He talks about his grandfather:
star musician of the Haskell Indian School Marching Band,
       telegraph operator, rodeo cowboy?
Tracking his family across
three states to hunt for big game
was habitual.

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