Volume II, Issue IV Winter 2003


Kachina Lady

Martha Everhart Braniff hails from Houston, where she writes fiction, poetry and essays. Her short story, "Resurrection," published in HAPPY literary journal, was nominated for the 2002 Pushcart Prize. Her suspense novel, "Beds of Broken Glass," was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize.


My people say it's evil
if a woman carves Kachina,
her babies will be
born dead.

They say, Come,
look at Crow Mother,
Kachina carved
by Leah of the Third Mesa.

Crow Mother wears
an earth-green cloak,
flies atop her pueblo
among night's sparse stars,
her face hidden by
red and turquoise sashes,
mask of secret dreams.
Black feathers flow from
both sides of her head
to escape the withered ways.

Leah carves more Kachinas and
with each flick of her knife,
she prays Crow Mother's blessings
on her unborn children,
fertile blossoms waiting
in a cursed womb.


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