Storm Pattern


Roberta D. Joe

Bobby has a standing wooden wardrobe
filled with rainbow waving Yeibichei.
She rolled them up
stored them in the wardrobe
because they would not
lie quietly
in a row
on the bare floor.
Thursday night
the Yeibichei chanted
a celebration
Rainbows were strewn everywhere.
North colors were in the east.
West colors were on the wrong hangers.
South colors were inside out on the floor.
The doors of the wooden wardrobe shook

The wardrobe could not contain
the enormous noise
of rainbow waving Yeibichei.
The wooden doors flew open!
Neighbors called the police.
Bobby answered the door when the police arrived.

She invited them inside
out of a restless cloudburst
and whirling lightning.
They found no evidence of the reported disturbance.

The storm pattern dispersed.
Friday morning was quiet.
Bobby picked up
the sacred prayer sticks
to carefully
rewrap them in rainbows.
The first spring thunderstorm was over.

From Storm Pattern: Poems from Two Navajo Women by Della Frank and Roberta D. Joe,
Navajo Community College Press
© 1993 Roberta D. Joe
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