“And there is always one more story” begins with an italicized preface that places the poem within a long line of oral narration. Simon J. Ortiz declares “It must be an old story” since it eventually came to him from his mother, who heard a woman “telling/ about her grandson who was telling the story/ which was told to him by somebody else.” The chain of connection is linked by “All/ these voices,” Ortiz says, establishing the generational process of transmission that provides the material for the poem.
Continuing the personal tone that his introduction has initiated, the story begins with the classic opening “One time,” but Ortiz displays the operation of oral transmission by parenthetically inserting his daughter Rainy’s comment, “You’re sposed to say, ‘Onesa ponsa/ time,’ Daddy,” before actually moving into the tale. There is a shift into another realm as the central characters of the poem, “some Quail Women grinding corn” and Tsuushki (“Coyote Lady”) are presented, with a final authorial comment about Tsuushki—“I don’t know why she wasn’t grinding corn too”—before the world that the story creates completely absorbs the poet’s attention.
The details of the narration continue in a mix of description (“It was a hot, hot day, very hot”), dialogue, and action. The nearest water is “at the top of a tall rock pinnacle,” and the women lend Tsuushki feathers so she can fly with them....
(The entire section is 501 words.)