Sacagawea

wild grapes by alan levine

Wild grapes photo by Alan Levine, public domain

1804

Bird Woman, brave woman,
sixteen years old and
explorer of unknown frontiers.
Baby on your back.
mother-wit finding
food, medicine, plants, berries,
paths through mountains to the big water.

1941

Helen Ann, dreaming of adventures,
rides a fat pony
around the yard and into the woods.
Branches grab her braids, and
brother hears her cries,
rescues, laughs,
names her Sacagawea because
she loves the woods and wilds.

1960

90 degrees in the shade,
Aunty takes us wading,
digging river clams,
picking gooseberries in the bushes,
chokecherries from scrubby trees.
Showing us the way—college, career, even
Ph.D.
Blazing new trails as surely as
Bird Woman did.

1999

Together, we forage fall fencelines,
tramp the forty,
pick wild grapes,
bake Christmas cookies.
Who knew this would be the last time?

2000

Sacagawea silver dollar in my wallet
to remember you both forever.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Sacagawea

  1. So beautiful. Thank you Mary. I didn’t know she had her PhD

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