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‘Song for Yancey Red Corn,’ a Poem by Melissa Fry Beasley for National Poetry Month

What's in a name? For many American Indians, quite a bit — nouns, verbs and adjectives. Animals, landscapes, stories and food. For a poet, the language encoded into names is ready imagery, a suggestion that can't be ignored. Here, Melissa Fry Beasley embraces the poetic possibilities of a real person's real name.

SONG FOR YANCEY RED CORN

I peeled back
your green husks
& silken threads
found ruby kernels
buried like treasure beneath
You came strong
like a June dream
in a hot Pawhuska sun
There is power in words
and I have been singing your song
The old people
say if you love a man
you must make an offering
then release him four times to
the winds and see if he is brought back
When he lands
in your heart like pollen
you must pray that his spirit
was meant to return to you like rain
so that you will be allowed to soak him in
I peeled back
your green husks
& silken threads
found ruby kernels
buried like treasure beneath

Melissa Fry Beasley is a Cherokee Poet and Artist from Oklahoma. She is proud to have red dirt running through her veins. You can find her work in print and online. She has a blog at melissafrybeasley.wordpress.com

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'Song for Yancey Red Corn,' a Poem by Melissa Fry Beasley for National Poetry Month

URL: https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/arts-entertainment/song-for-yancey-red-corn-a-poem-by-melissa-fry-beasley-for-national-poetry-month/