The Sunday Poem: Tanaya Winder... Hole In My Heart

I come from the Duckwater Shoshone and Southern Ute nations. I was raised on the Southern Ute Indian reservation in southern Colorado; I consider that place along with the Pyramid Lake Paiute reservation in Nixon, NV my two homes, my origins. Because of the strong connection I feel towards place, I feel I am a child of both water and the desert. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I have chosen to make my home here in Albuquerque. I am grounded in these elements and fascinated by the push pull of the water. There is so much we can learn about life, loss, and the relationships between people (each other) from the land and earth if we open ourselves to these lessons. My writing comes out of a sense of longing learned from the desert and water because maybe what we all long for is to know what it is like to be that space where the waves meet the sand. It is this balance I try to question, investigate, and delve into each time I put the pen to the page.

I graduated from Stanford University in June 2008 with a Bachelors in English (emphasis in creative writing). Now, I am pursuing a MFA in poetry from UNM.


I came into this world
incomplete, born with a hole
in my heart. It happened

in my mother’s womb.
Doctors have a name for it,
“call it congenital cardiovascular defect.”

My grandmother calls it “the moon
emptied of its many faces.” It is against nature;
creation sometimes has a will of its own.

Or is it a pact from the past
made long ago? It happened
in my mother’s womb, the blood

vessels closest to my heart
didn’t develop normally; the way nature
or God intended for it to be.

When the doctors say hereditary,
my grandmother responds
ancestrally – in prayer, in songs gifted

to her. My mother and I, do not know
the words. But, when grandmother sings
she is calling on horses to run

in on clouds to protect us,
to save us. Long ago, there was a man
who loved my great great great grandmother.

The love connected two people,
two spirits, so deeply
it shook the earth. I imagine it,
the way it should have lasted – long after

the moon. Yet, he left
her. His leaving made this
hole passed down in my grandmother’s
grandmother’s womb.

--Tanaya Winder

Submissions to The Sunday Poem are always welcome. Email

Views: 340

Comment by Margaret Randall on September 20, 2009 at 8:44am
What a wonderful poem! We are all born incomplete, in one way or another, or too complete which turns out to be the same thing. This poem leaps from world to world to make me know, again, how important all these connections are.
Comment by cc on September 20, 2009 at 8:55am
Yes, Margaret - I agree with your good thoughts about the poem.
Tanaya Winder - nice to be able to read your beautiful poem this morning, thank you for sharing it!
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on September 20, 2009 at 11:33am
Beautiful--I love grandmother poems--thank you.
Comment by JeSais on September 20, 2009 at 5:55pm
beautiful poem from a beautiful poet.... thanks Gin (or are you Juice?) for sharing !!
Comment by Lizbeth Isidora Ramirez on September 21, 2009 at 10:57am
Its was very powerful and I love it. I love poems which are about a persons life and where they come from.
Comment by JMG on September 22, 2009 at 7:31pm
Lovely poem! I wonder if you are Natahnee's sister?


You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

Moths in my cloths 3 Replies

Started by Kitson Harvey in General Discussion. Last reply by once banned twice shy yesterday.

Help Injured Roadrunner 11 Replies

Started by Chris in General Discussion. Last reply by Kitson Harvey on Monday.

Dine to Donate Event

Started by Angel Wellness Boutique in General Discussion Jun 16.

What is up with dogs in stores? 17 Replies

Started by Maurreen Skowran in General Discussion. Last reply by misterhinkydink Jun 15.

Happy Hour 5 Replies

Started by Monica in General Discussion. Last reply by Amy Jun 10.

Latest Activity

Profile IconDuke City Fix via Facebook

Hey cat lovers, ABQ Free Press is giving away tickets to the Feline Film Festival. Post a picture of your kitty on their FB page and win!…

See More
Facebook9 hours ago · Reply
Profile IconDuke City Fix via Facebook

What are you doing this weekend?!

What To Do In ABQ

Friday, June 24 Zoo Music: Ryan McGarvey- Ryan is constantly on tour…

See More
Facebook10 hours ago · Reply
Adelita liked Adelita's blog post What To Do In ABQ
10 hours ago
Kitson Harvey liked Adelita's blog post What To Do In ABQ
14 hours ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2016   Created by Duke City Fix.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service