A Northern Plains Chief Takes A Wife

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

A step out of mainstream culture to explore love in both a more historical setting, and one in an indigenous environment, where - even though different, such is, in many ways, not different at all.

A Northern Plains Chief Takes A Wife

My calumet of tourmaline
..............................puffed out a cloud or two;
but it’s mostly ceremonial,
and for routine-use won’t do.
Habitually, I don’t smoke much
..............................of any kind of weed,
but rather, signal dire distress,
when I’m in time of need.
It’s not a pipe that’s lightly used;
...............................it weighs half of a papoose !
A mighty strain on jaw and lips:
(The smoke-screen’s an excuse.)
For the occasion is dreadful serious,
..............................and I must choose a mate.
A potential father-in-law sits, fore,
and new prospective mom awaits.
Cross-legged in my teepee, thus,
..............................I look of wiser stuff,
if through negotiations,
I thoughtfully drag a puff.
He offers much of trade goods,
..............................and his hides are of the best.
(I grip my stem with a strength of bears
lest woman-shy fears are guessed.)
For I can fell the noble bison,
..............................with lance or flinty arrow,
or outpace the wild prairie fire,
as flames threaten to sear my marrow.
But it’s a real test to be just a man,
..............................though high chief to my tribe:
Both roles that I find quite incomplete
without a tall-grass bride.
So here I squat, and here we speak,
..............................and here my future’s wed.
I’ve smoked and choked for three days now:
I could crack this on his head…
For the father is like a cougar,
..............................and the mother, a sharp-tusked boar,
and both would grasp this eagle’s neck
whose spirit yearns to soar.
But I have seen a new morning star !
...............................There arose such a smile for me !
Thus, by sweaty grasp ‘pon calumet
I swear my dreads shall flee !
It’s a mighty chief, both wise and brave,
..............................whose tribal fortunes increase.
A wife and children shall complete my joy,
and I'll smoke my pipe
................................of true peace.


by Steven P. Pody

calumet = ceremonial pipe, tourmaline = a colored, glassy mineral


Submitted: October 28, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Steven P. Pody. All rights reserved.

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