About tragedy: I think of a Lakota woman I knew. She was descended from a nineteenth-century chief whose name is well known. When she stood or walked, she was straight as a birch tree — the kind of straight you cannot learn from balancing books on your head. It was my impression that the inner woman was like that too.
She was not afraid of men or situations and she was arresting to look at but – despite a fair number of applicants — she found no partner in life. The man who would have complemented such a woman just wasn’t there. Bury my heart at Wounded Knee. In his place were all the demoralized, defeated and brutal candidates for her affections, not one of them what he should have been. She did not pity herself. But she did not look elsewhere than the X where history had planted her. Her life marks that spot. Her story is tragic.