Crane Girl

By Susan Telfer

Here’s a secret my grandma told—
Why’d she not tell it sooner?—
By phone, at ninety-six years old—
The truth about her mother.

Born on White Earth Reservation,
Home to a mission school.
Her mom, half Anishinaabe,
Met there rich ridicule.

If I wrote of my great-grandma,
How could I tell her story
Without language it was born in,
That native category?

Her mother found her in the hall
Of the Catholic mission school.
“Your hem is down, your button loose!”
Led her to the vestibule.


Lake publishes fiction, poetry, critical essays, interviews, reviews and visual arts related to the environment.
The magazine is issued twice a year.

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