Study Guide

For the White poets who would be Indian

by Wendy Rose

For the White poets who would be Indian eText - eText

Text of the Poem

just once
just long enough
to snap up the words
fish-hooked from
to our tongues.     5
You think of us now
when you kneel
on the earth,
turn holy
in a temporary tourism     10
of our souls.

With words
you paint your faces,
chew your doeskin,
touch breast to tree     15
as if sharing a mother
were all it takes,
could bring instant and primal
knowledge.

You think of us only     20
when your voice
wants for roots,
when you have sat back
on your heels and
become     25
primitive.

You finish your poem
and go back.