how many women ago?

the hour of soft light...

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The native woman, a Shah-mah’ tsah’nih—the grandmother, who made some of these blankets walked away from the market more tired than dirt. A hot wind blew across the gravel parking lot to the mesa and the mountains beyond, her gray hair reaching wildly after it.

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She was bent sideways but shuffled forward.  She looked off-kilter by design . . . like a samara . . . a thing not designed to have an upright position.  I sensed sixty years of klagetoh bearing down on her left shoulder, and six thousand more years of it in her DNA.

How many women ago did our ancestral mothers sit together in an ice cave or a tent made of animal hides . . . Mary, Maria, Mariposa, Miriam, Margit, Марыя, Мэри, 메리, মেরি . . . a quill needle and red thread resting between thumb and fore-fingerprint of the same sedulous language?

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