Imagine the nuns herding
the žįkážį into the cellar where it is cool,
dry good stores along the shelves. Osage girls,
whose parents ride wagons to see them
across bluestem grasslands,
girls who wear big satin bows when they sit for photos,
girls who whisper their language
when the nuns can’t hear

down in the cellar, while the men ride horses around
and around the limestone building, hooves churning grass,
knocking over benches, the stones that line the paths,
while the children duck down, quiet, quiet, ižó˛ą covering ihtéžį
with their bodies, quiet, oní õįké, oní õįké. The men on horses,
their white sheets, each one holding his whipping strap,
circling and circling the dust out Bird Creek, finding no one,
no one at home.