There were seven Indian Government schools. All built alike. The
one I'm writing about is Spring Creek. He Dog, Soldier Creek and White River,
Grass Mountain, Two Kettle, and Black Pipe were the other schools. The
Headquarters for these schools was at Rosebud, South Dakota.
On some summer evenings we were able to talk our mothers into
hiking to the lookout tower. We followed the ankle deep sandy trail road to the
cliff north of the school., A canyon lay at the foot of the tower but we climbed the
bluff. I don't know why we didn't explore the canyon unless it seemed dark and
sinister. The footing was better once we reached the summit. The closer we got
to the tower the taller it grew and standing at the foot of the steps looking up was
easier than getting to the top and looking down. My mother didn't usually make it
to the top because she didn't like heights. But she didn't mind being left behind
this time. We never could get into the building at the top because it was locked,
but we could climb the steps to the very last one. Even my little sister managed
to elude mom and followed us to the top.
From the bluff we could look down on the garden. My aunt grew a
huge garden and canned the produce for the hot meals served the school
children. We kids didn't work in the garden very often, but we looked for the arrow
heads and fossils. Which, I suspect the adults probably considered the best
place for us.
At the end of the road, living in shack, was Old Lady Grease. I have a
vague recollection of seeing her. Tiny, frail, wrinkled and gray headed is all I can
In spring and fall we were in school in Kansas.
It's Christmas now. Cold and usually snowy. We were in a winter
I'm standing at the fire escape window. The ghostly pale full moon is
illuminating the naked arms of the trees as they shiver in the wind, swaying to
and fro as if dancers in a ballet. I listen to the winter sounds. The frigid air
enhances their sharpness. The ax's thud echoes up the canyon as one of the
Indians across the river chops another supply of wood. One of his peers beats
on the drum. It is one-thirty a. m. but the thin walls of the tents do not keep the
cold out. Day or night this chore must be attended to for survival.
Copyright © Marycile Beer | Year Posted 2007
The location of the Spring Creek School was on a flat, nestled
between the cliff on the north and the Little White River on the south. The river
flowed in from the northwest, circled to the south of the school about a quarter
mile and wended it's way east departing to the northeast. Though I never saw it
in my day I imagine this was once a flood plain. Yes, at one time this could
easily have been the scene of flash floods. The waters tumbling and sloshing
their way across this insignificant piece of ground in a hurry to reach the exit.
Time had slowed the waters and erosion had taken it's tole, leaving the west and
south in twenty to thirty foot sharp sandy cliffs. The ground sloped to the east
leaving a two foot drop off. A sandy graded road approached the large heavy duty
bridge, crossed and continued on as a trail road.
It's summer and the Little White River gently rolls from bend to bend.
We are running back and forth across the bridge stopping now and then to lean
over the rail and watch the Indian children splashing in the only deep spot. It was
first comers got the choice spot. Big deal! Chest deep to a ten year old.
We run off the bridge south. The graded road crosses a big culvert
allowing a small spring access to the river where it fans out at the point of entry.
We run through the crystal liquid turning it into chocolate and leaving dents in the
once smooth sand. This is a child's paradise. Sand so pure, soft and powdery
warmed by the sun. The deeper we dig the cooler the sand becomes as it is
joined by the moisture below.
Our mothers put limits on our water sports. First: we had to wait an
hour after the meal to get in the water. Second: polio was a concern in our day
and we didn't get to play as often as we thought we should. Third: we were not
allowed to swim unless our mothers were with us. With the gardening, house
keeping and canning, we were lucky if we got to swim two or three times a week.
I guess that is why we spent most of our time on horseback.
On the ridge north of the school stood a lookout tower. In the long
evenings we would be found always outside, either sitting on the steps, running
up and down the fire escapes or in the front yard. This was the only real green
grass in the area. It was fenced to keep cattle or horses from trampling it into the
mirrored image of its surroundings. This enclosure measured fifty by a hundred
feet and was kept watered. A large tree provided the only shade
Copyright © Marycile Beer | Year Posted 2007
Early spring flowers
tulips poke heads
Sweet floral scent
drifts on the wind
Bird of spring
robin red breast
Trying my hand at Haiku again.
not the traditional Japanese 5-7-5
Copyright © Phyllis Babcock | Year Posted 2011
Spring had already come, but my mother was still numb,
Winter anorak hugging my sweating and suffocating body;
Sad inside, but quietly because I was by no means a dumb,
Since I claimed to her that the others were free as anybody.
Summer time loves my essence, free, liberal and breezy,
Wearing t-shirts on the bus to school, a bold statement,
To their fundamentalism, so religious, strict and uneasy,
About our freedoms, like healthcare, radio and sentiment.
Copyright © Rhoda Monihan | Year Posted 2016
When I was a kid of maybe six
And I put on my favorite kicks
I had a problem a kid faces
I couldn’t tie my own shoelaces
And with four kids, Mom’s precious time
Could not all be spent on mine
She had to find another way
To keep me in my shoes each day
And tennis shoes were not allowed
In a Catholic school crowd
So shoes for school and Sunday best
Had to pass Mom’s laceless test
A penny loafer wouldn’t fit
I’d walk and slip right out of it
Elastic laces she couldn’t get
And Velcro’s not invented yet
She searched and found this shoe with tongue
That opened like a spring was sprung
And once you slipped your foot inside
Unsprung the tongue – you’re good as tied
And I didn’t have a handicap
When I took off my shoes to nap
I just had to flip that flap
Slip in my foot – close with a snap
I thought my gadget shoes “the bomb”
And I never had to bother mom
I wonder if they make these still
For little boys who lack the skill
Who every morning he still faces
Fumbling with his long shoe laces
Or could a guy like me get rich
Reinventing for this niche
And saving Mom’s their precious time
Like these shoes once did for mine
You probably have to be a man of at least 60 years old to remember these shoes.
They were black leather with a wide flat tongue that was hinged at the toe like the
hood of a 60? XKE ( my dream car as a teen). There was a spring of some sort at
that hinge so that when the tongue was lowered, the shoe was tight.
Copyright © mike dailey | Year Posted 2011
Soon everything will be growing.
Plants will be in bloom.
Rains will come down,
In April to bring May the,
Nice looking flowers and,
Girls and boys will be out of school soon.
Copyright © Nicole Sharon Brown | Year Posted 2010
Weekend days shining
Loud music pounding
Cards flying around
head pounding with noise
big dog runs around
when can I sleep?
Their shaking heads
bring tears to eyes
wails raise upward
dreams of sleep
I will cry
Copyright © Elissa Quigley | Year Posted 2016