Nunih Waiyah

University of Oklahoma Magazine 10 (January 22, 1922):5.

By Ruth Margaret Muskrat


Take her away, and lay her gently down to rest

Beneath the cool grey willows that she loved to hold.

And lay this starry flower on her breast

In her slim brown hands, so icy cold.


Lay her where the rippling of the Spavinaw.[1]

Can lull her dreamless sleep with its incessant song,

Out where the sunshine, slanting through the leaves can draw

The flowers from the earth to make her hours less long.


Take her now, my hours of tryst are over,

There's nothing else for pain to feast upon,

I gave her all, and, to her cold grave yonder,

All light and life for me have gone.


What a difference now that I was born a paleface,

And she was Nunih Waiyah, a Redman's child?

She waits my coming out in that eternal space,

Her love by Death's cold withering blackness undefiled.

[1] Spavinaw Creek, located in eastern Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation; present day Oklahoma.