Wild grapes photo by Alan Levine, public domain
Bird Woman, brave woman,
sixteen years old and
explorer of unknown frontiers.
Baby on your back.
food, medicine, plants, berries,
paths through mountains to the big water.
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,
names her Sacagawea because
she loves the woods and wilds.
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
Blazing new trails as surely as
Bird Woman did.
Together, we forage fall fencelines,
tramp the forty,
pick wild grapes,
bake Christmas cookies.
Who knew this would be the last time?
Sacagawea silver dollar in my wallet
to remember you both forever.