The state winning championship team sat in their bus. The girls basketball team were weary. They had been beaten and bruised in that battle called a basketball game. they were tired of hicks calling them squaws, and tired of stupid people putting their hands to their mouth as if making a war cry, tired of being told to go back to their trashy reservation.
They could have fought the big tractor ass white girls, instead the fought on the court without trying to foul out the best way they knew how.
They played rez ball. they ran and ran the big thunder thigh girls in circles. They had them sweaty and pink like the hogs they farm. Some were so red in the face their eyebrows glowed white.
Down right ugly.
The game ended with the rez girls being up by 7. A small crowd gathered and cheered them on. They walked out of the state arena proud, heads held high, and spit on and booed and called names.
Go back to the rez! Screamed the crowd.
We will as champions, you honky fuckers. Screamed one of their fans back.
When they hit reservation lines, people wrote on sheets, on cardboard, congratulating the girls, on the side of the road. They still had over 70 miles to drive. And people stood outside their houses, cars followed them in.
The girls started to get fired up despite their bruised and tired bodies. They took turns peeking out of the emergency hatch on top of the bus at the caravan behind them in the fading evening sun. They waved and their reservation honked and cheered.
When they pulled into town, there was a crowd waiting, along with tribal council, and a drum group. The smell of sage in the air…
The girls cried as the drum group sang an honor song. They were home, where they were loved. They did all that only to come back home and show the rez they made it. Made it ok to be from the rez.