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Poem by Avery Hale

Clouds of dust floating in the air
It’s from our feet dancing to a historical beat
The image is spinning, like
I’m on a ride at the fair 
It’s because we are imitating 
Sacred deities.

I turn to my right 
& see who is dancing with me

a short slender body
painted in white
wooden crowns twirling in the skyline
we are dancing to the beat of the hide skin

Awakened and mistaken 
Halfway out of this trailer home 
Where was I going to go
Having this mind I’m inclined this is
A case of having no control
As long I am causing no self harm


Avery Hale (Mandan, Hidatsa, San Carlos Apache, & San Felipe Pueblo) is from Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Avery’s rock and amazing mother Kyonia Hale is married to Jay Hale, Avery’s supportive and loving father. Avery has 5 brothers and sisters, many more in Native terms. Through generations from beginning of existence to war, colonization, disease, bordering schools, addictions, alcoholism, mental illness, and death, Avery is a product of generational love stories, adventures, persistence, triumphs, and traditions. Now 24, his path has lead him to the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Creative Writing. A path to give back.

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