Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Sharon Doubiago: Free Him

“My real name or Dakota name is Tate Wicuwa, Wind That Chases the Sun.”  — Leonard Peltier


You bring into his cell Crazy Horse’s white Appaloosa.

He lowers his head to get in, he allows himself to be brought in, his

electric body to be held at the mouth. His back

flickers like a bad connection, like coming to flames

but his four hooves tap dance the cement. He allows you

to unbraid his mane, to brush out with your fingers his beads

to lay in the hollow between his nipples.

There is so much terror you may not breathe again.

He is Eros who cannot be ridden to some clear light

but must be mounted here in this pit. Only here.

His smell fills it. Their eyes

watch you. Every one of his heartbeats

all these years against the cage



You sow the seed of the native tall prairie grass

into the steel. Your tears are enough water.

His hand reaches for your right breast, the other pulls you down

under the horse where you are unseen by the monitor.

You pull back, wash with the tears his heavy feet

and the dark wave of hair across his forehead when he was young

and the wave back from his large forehead now like your father’s.

The grass stems elongate over you. The crickets scrape

their legs together, scrape together the majesty, your body

down on his like the sun setting over the world, the wind

chasing you. Your bodies


over each other like the skins of the Indians

the pioneers bound their Bibles with

the living flesh

still in their prison museums.

Copyright 2008 Sharon Doubiago. From Love on the Streets: Selected and New Poems by Sharon Doubiago. University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with permission of the author.


3 comments on “Sharon Doubiago: Free Him

  1. susie reynolds
    January 5, 2017

    I love your poem!


  2. cunningcrowbooks
    August 18, 2016

    Wonderful poem. Like so many you have written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. daninstockholm
    July 5, 2016

    Beautiful!!! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2016 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , , , , .

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