Poem: She Had Some Songs

After Joy Harjo’s “Horses”


She had some songs

Songs that made her sing

Songs that held her hand

She had songs that walked with her and songs that skipped

She had songs that rocked her and stopped her and made her close her eyes


She had songs that she hated

She had songs that poured like wine and tequila

She had songs with wings she had songs like stones

She had songs she played and others that played her

She had some songs she loved


She had songs like horses that kept running away

She had songs that smelled like honey tasted like spring and stung like a slap

across her face

She had songs that sounded like breaking glass

Like dunking her head underwater like looking up like going home

She had songs she sang

She had songs that sang her


She had some songs that made her stomach ache and cramp and stretch and explode

She had songs like sprinting spiders crawling across her skin

She had songs like swimming pools

She had a song thick like a bear skin rug

She had songs like leather and whiskey like smoke in the air

She had songs like chalk like salt in the back of her throat

She had songs that sang her


She had songs that played her and spun her around

Like barbed wire fences that cut

She had songs like machetes

Songs like lace

She had songs like clouds

Like sand

Like fog

She had songs for days

Songs with no sound

She had songs that unlocked her


She had songs like tattoos

She had songs that were crazy

Songs that were brave


She had songs she sang and songs

that spun her around


Willona Sloan has published in literary journals, including BlazeVOX, Bohemia, and Words Apart. She has hosted literary events and culturally-focused creative writing workshops in the United States, Iceland, and Canada. She is an alum of the VONA Voices writing workshop, and she has done artist residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Spark Box Studio.

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