She wore some scars,
but she came by them honest
and never used them to brag,
and that’s something.
In the long nights,
when Little Bastard and Big Dog set behind the escarpment,
and we stayed awake one in five
and swapped lies to stay on the jump
for fear of the Suff’ho,
she let every shavetail mother’s hero flap his jaws
and kept her trap shut.
Sometimes I’d catch a glint of her eyes
in the rock glow
and share a grin.
She was snaggle-mouthed,
and nobody made fun of that.
Least not around me.
She tackled a wild blue-skin with her bare hands
and ripped out its throat.
I was down and bleeding,
but I saw her laugh
as she spit out broken teeth.
I wish she’d made it all the way
through the valley,
but none of the best of us did.
Nancy Wilcox writes poetry and dreams of being retired. When she’s not dreaming of chocolate. Or purple clouds swirling in an ominous and altogether too-sentient fashion.