Daughter of the Desert (from Birdhouses of the Heart)

She was a Navajo girl
sensing the wind's passion
as she moved on her horse through the desert.

Another life was with her then,
Adzaanlichii, lady red,
daughter of the desert
whose black hair tinged with auburn
glowed in the sunlight of each day.

Stories native to the land spun
like spider webs about her mind,
tales of four worlds and a great flood,
of two brothers journeying on sunbeams
in search of their father, Johano-ai, the Sun,
in his beautiful house of turquoise in the East.

Once this Navajo maiden listened
to traditions told in the the dead of winter
in a language mingled with magic
like the morning prayers of her mother
to the East, South, West, North,
sacraments to the Sun.

Now she stands fiercely independent,
without fear, a daughter of destiny
with arrows of lightning
still tugging at the stars.