Burning In This Midnight Dream

Burning in this Midnight Dream

by Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer

I dream I wore a skin of X’s across my chest
and down my torso. Granny prints of the midnight world.
Thick lenses moved inside my skull
magnifying but still I could not see.
The X awkwardly signed by my great-grandmother
another burned ink onto my skin for Treaty Six.
X for the five-dollar-a-year allotment,
X stitched for medicine, eye glasses, teeth,
and for school.
X for every sin, X for moments of grace.
The X’s of a long paper chain wrapped this body.

The tattoos beckoned me not to surrender
to wear a grizzly cape
to dance until the sun’s flames and moon beams
created passion inside my womb.
I was earth, burning in this midnight dream.