Santo Domingo Feast Day
By Robin Becker
Think of the fox skins belted to the backs of the dancers
at Santo Domingo Pueblo, a thousand fox skins leaping.
The first year I heard the bells around their waists.
The second year I heard the drum inside my belly.
The third year we crossed our legs in the dirt, closed our eyes,
and sat through the dust storm. That year it turned holy.
That year the parrot feathers blew back to South America
and the dancers remained upright in the wind that bent pine trees.
The gourd rattles turned to fruit. Aspen boughs became rifles.
We opened our eyes days later and they were still dancing,
we were still learning to empty our minds and listen.
I’ve been sitting in that dust for a decade, listening.
People I love have been shouting into the wind, saying
there are not remedies for the great sorrows,
only dancing and chanting, listening and waiting.