Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is an American Book Award–winning poet and the author of Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, and Burn, as well as a memoir, Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer. She is the editor of the anthologies Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, Effigies and Effigies II and currently serves as a Distinguished Writer at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Hedge Coke came of age working fields, factories, and waters and is currently at work on a film, Red Dust: the dirty thirties, chronicling mixed-blood and Native life.
"dancers on toe chaotic climaxextremities held in tight circlesbent elbow, dainty toes, black-gray clawsears slicked back likea scorned, angered marewhiskers gleam, tails streaming along tothe dance the dancethe Mardi Grasthe Coup d’étatthe MarathonThey Shoot Horses Don’t They? their bodies wrapped in fur as if theyshould be dressed, primped, combedfrenzy filled they touch lightly almosta ballet, or tap, no, freedance they are freefrom restraintsfrom being minor mammalsuddenly they huddlegangly approach to centerlike a sneak-up danceexchanging excitementthey plan, this is no instinct, they prepare, premeditatemutinous recapture of the denthose tunnels outside, theywere not built by hares theurine odor was not left by infantsdancers left this traceto forewarn intruders"
— from The Year of the Rat