Never tell an Indian how to start a fire.
Indians have been starting fires for a long time.
They’ve always had to stay warm and watchful.
From the prairies to the Pueblos,
setting fires of protection and protest,
fires of inspiration, revolution, survival.
Fires in their bellies and their spirits.
Funeral pyres and pow-wows,
pipe smoke, and drums with fiery rhythms.
They know how to keep it burning
all night long. It's lasted whole winters
and the fire has never gone out.
Babies born by firelight.
Bodies of the dead ignite and burn.
Smoke signals sent out and returned.
Glowing women, blazing warriors,
smoldering shamans, roaring chiefs.
Indians have always fueled the fires of earth.
(c) 2007 Marissa Dodge