Allen at Goose Pond by Mildred Grant

His inner voice kept nagging as he stood ankle-deep in the cooling water at the shore of Goose Pond.

“Don’t do it! It’s too far and puts too much at risk,” the voice warned.

Recently honorably discharged from service in the Navy, Allen was used to following orders, but, realizing these commands were self-inflicted fears, he took a shallow dive and started to swim for the eastern shore of the pond a quarter-mile away.

The water temperature changed from refreshing to icy cold, quite often. The cold areas were numbing, fed by springs in the bottom of the pond. Much like the ups and downs of his life, lately.

His high school diploma and Navy experience took him nowhere in the post-war job market, but with his savings and financial help from his parents, they now owned a sizable piece of shore-front property, with cabins.

Though he had reached the eastern shore, his doubts and anxieties came back to plague him in full force: No experience in renting out the cabins to summer vacationers or hunting parties in the fall and a very slim budget to repair and up-grade the property. Boats, such as they were, that came with the property, could be made to hold together for a while. Was the whole venture worth the up-coming struggle?

Allen tried to blank out thoughts of the huge burden he had assumed, by diving back into the pond to complete his half mile swim. Half way across, a cramp struck in his right leg. Floating on his back, he watched the evening star appear, a large sun dog was suddenly pierced by shining shafts of light from the disappearing sun. An owl hooted, its mate answered. Allen’s mind, body, and soul felt the peace and quiet of this place.

Gaining his own shore, he thought, “We will make this work!”

Ira Hayes by Luci Adams

 I knew who I was
I felt an urge
A pull to go
I was young
War would bring me recognition
I would be a great warrior.

 I forgot; it does not work that way in white-man’s land
They use, abuse, and throw you away.

I came back from Iwo Jima a Hero
I was lauded and applauded
From a ‘polite’ distance
No respect this white world has
For those who are different.

 Down and down I spiraled
Faster and faster
Until I died
Lost and alone
My people not understanding.
Me, not getting it.
White’s not caring.

 What did I not get? You ask
I forgot who I was/am.
My way/ideals and Whites’ did not mesh
I tried and lost myself
Hidden deep in the struggle.

 Now, one remembers me
She holds me in her heart
I feel less at sea
There is hope
Thank you Goddess
Blessed Be.