A Song of a Navajo Weaver
For ages long, my people have been
Dwellers in this land;
For ages viewed these mountains,
Loved these mesas and these sands,
That stretch afar and glisten,
Glimmering in the sun
As it lights the mighty canons
Ere the weary day is done.
Shall I, a patient dweller in this
Land of fair blue skies,
Tell something of their story while
My shuttle swiftly flies?
As I weave I’ll trace their journey,
Devious, rough and wandering,
Ere they reached the silent region
Where the night stars seem to sing.
When the myriads of them glitter
Over peak and desert waste,
Crossing which the silent runner and
The gaunt of co-yo-tees haste.
Shall I weave the zig-zag pathway
Whence the sacred fire was born;
And interweave the symbol of the God
Who brought the corn—
Of the Rain-god whose fierce anger
Was appeased by sacred meal,
And the trust that my brave people
In him evermore shall feel?
All this perhaps I might weave
As the woof goes to and fro,
Wafting as my shuttle passes,
Humble hopes, and joys and care,
Weaving closely, weaving slowly,
While I watch the pattern grow;
Showing something of my life:
To the Spirit God a prayer.
Grateful that he brought my people
To the land of silence vast
Taught them arts of peace and ended
All their wanderings of the past.
Deftly now I trace the figures,
This of joy and that of woe;
And I leave an open gate-way
For the Dau to come and go.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 25, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.