Cody Dancing

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

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Valerie Gillies

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1A Cycle of Poems Bird for Bird

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2A Sapling Greyhound

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3Bass Rock

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4Clydesdale Clydesdale

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5Cody Dancing

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6Cool Cap

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7Eagle Bone Whistle

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10Frog Spring

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20Ravendean Burn

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21Reeds

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22Robert Burns' Mither at the Well

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23Shepherd's Calendar

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24Song Sparrow

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25St Medana's Well

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28The Ericstane Brooch

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29The Green Well of Scotland

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30The Harp to Aeolus

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31The Rant of the Trows

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32The Rink

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33The Sealstone of Caracalla

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34Viking Boy

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35Wedding in Stobo Kirk

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36While I was Away

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