Kin Women

The women in my family watch the sky.
They know how to find their way by starlight.
They wear their history in their hands.

The women in my family walk into the rooms
of rivers like familiar lovers.             Sometimes,
at the ocean, they get lost in sound.

They treasure feathers, lupine,
huckleberry stains. I’ve seen them bend over the Sunday funnies,
laughing, then tip their faces up to welcome rain.

The women in my family drive
easy bargains: they know fire comes from earth as well as sky.
They open their arms wide. They pull you in.


Bette Lynch Husted

About Bette Lynch Husted

Bette Lynch Husted lives and writes in Pendleton, Oregon. Her first collection of memoir essays, Above the Clearwater: Living on Stolen Land (OSU Press 2004) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and WILLA Award in creative nonfiction. Other works include the poetry collection At This Distance (Wordcraft 2010) and Lessons from the Borderlands (Plain View Press 2012). She was a Fishtrap Fellow and received a 2007 Oregon Arts Commission Award, and helped start the First Draft Writers' Series in Pendleton.
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