A boy in a sleeveless tee, his pale torso
twisted to one side, pushes his metal
walker frame ahead of him. He drags crumpled
feet across the grassy powwow ground.
Spurred by the drums, he joins in
every one of the dances: the Smoke Dance,
the Sneak-Up Dance, the Honor Dance.
Falling, he is helped up on his feet again.
A medicine man steps alongside him,
passes the wing-feather of a golden eagle
over and above him as he reels
through the long day in hot sun.
Someone puts a war-bonnet on his head
to show who he really is. And now
the sky-being soars. Still dancing, Cody
is called up for the money prize.
from The Cream of the Well: New and Selected Poems (Luath Press, 2014), © Valerie Gillies 2014, used by permission of the author.