A Lakota Mother’s Prayer


‘Wana Hin Gle’ the Lakota call me,

‘Wana Hin Gle’ my given name


‘He Who Happens Now,’ the drumbeat has found me,

reaching into this moment beyond glory and fame


As ‘Wana Hin Gle,’ my spirit has wandered,

as ‘Wana Hin Gle,’ my ancestors call


The questions dissolve, as The Great Mystery beckons,

the campfire eternal, the chanting enthralls


“‘Wana Hin Gle,”’ my Mother calls proudly,

your horse is now waiting, your shield fixed with bone


“Off into the prairie you must ride in the twilight,

the People will dance until their son returns home


“’Wana Hin Gle,’ you must now happen quickly,

the buffalo ravaged, starvation cries loud


“Your eyes to look upon the great Wakan Tanka,

whose absence has shamed us, who once were so proud


“As the great Tasunka Witko who traveled before you,

you must call for your horse to come out of the lake


“Great Mother River and Great Mountain Father,

to your will they entrust what The People forsake


“Your spirit must suffer, the babies still cry,

the cold through the tent flaps, all future in blight


“The hawk comes to guide you, as you pass through the darkness,

the drums of your fathers beat into the night


“You will ride to the top of the ‘Pass Of The Bears,’

ask the Grizzly, our brother, where the demon still hides


“Where it lives, you must kill it, for this time and always,

before it steals our last dream, keeping spirits alive


“The White Horse will take you from the lake to the mountain,

and the stallion will sprout wings with its hooves fiery hot


“You will trample this demon and burn him before you,

the smoke will then signal of what he is not


“‘Wana Hin Gle,’” my son; the time is for going,

your journey awaits, past-futures on hold


“The Medicine Woman is locked deep inside you,

your People die waiting—the young and the old”


(Pine Ridge South Dakota: February, 2011)

From My Novel: “Searching For Crazy Horse”

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