William S. Yellow Robe, Jr.

All the Way to the Bone

I wish,
I pray,
I prayed,
I thought,
I even sing,
for all good things to come
your way,

I told myself all those
who hurt you,
harm you,
humilitate you,
will answer,
everybody thinks that way when it is
a loved one,
but I remember,
I let it go,
because some of them call you “friend.”

The pain will burn for years,
and like a fire,
the embers slowly fade,
there is no regret for having
such a fire,
not having it would be the loss,

I am there,
for you,
to the end,
to the last,
the edge of the road,
a new path begins,
walking all the way
till the foot is bone.

Just Mina, Just Stanley

The scent of celery mixed with onions
drifted from the kitchen,
We weren’t white,
We were just Indins,
practicing one of the many holidays that
wasn’t ours,

They sacrificed,
all the time,
but this time,
we have turkey,
we weren’t rich,
we were completely broke like some,
we were eating turkey,
“Some families are lucky to have just soup today,”
mom sometimes said,
not a story to make us feel guilty
but a reporting of truth.

Nothing real fancy,
but it is good,
nothing elegant,
but a lot of grace.

Dad always made sure,
dad made those sacrifices,
together-mom and dad,
made the impossible, possible,
food on the table.

They left into the spirit world,
missing them,
not saying to them,
“thank you,”
we were Indins,
not white,
just Indins,

thank you to my
just Mina, just Stanley,
our parents.

Discount Save

Please, I don't care where and when Jesus or God found you.
Be it in prison,
the lawn and garden section of Wal-Mart,
the parking lot of Popeye's,
In a bar—on the bar floor—the cement outside of the bar,
in the bed of the woman, or man you are cheating with,
in a bathroom stall with a Republican Representative,
but come on,
once you have Jesus's/God's love,
Don't use it to preach man's hate...!!!!


William S. Yellow Robe, Jr. is an Assiniboine playwright. He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. His play, Makin Indixns, was one of five newly completed one-act plays and was published in the America’s Best One-Act Plays. Other publications of his work include Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers and Other Untold Stories, a collection of his full-length plays, Where the Pavement Ends: New Native Drama, a collection of his one-act plays. Wood Bones, a full length play, was produced this November at the University of Maine, Orono, Maine. He is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Penumbra Theatre. Yellow Robe resides in Maine where he is a Libra Professor at the English Department, University of Maine.