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Montezuma Castle

Gleah Powers

At age eleven, Luna went on a field trip to Montezuma Castle with her Camp F troop. Lying awake in her sleeping bag at the Sinagua ruin after the others had gone she heard the low, hollow sound of rattles and the voice of an ancient man who tol look for a comet in the night sky. When she saw it shoot past the moon, she felt the dust of Sinagua power penetrate her skin, and she knew she had a gift. In the morn told Mrs. Hancock, the Troop Leader, and the other girls what had happened. They and called her crazy. But underneath their phony voices, Luna heard chanting and It was after what she called her “initiation at Montezuma Castle” that Luna chan name to Moon. Luna needed to be under a different vibration from the name her had chosen for her, which was Maureen. She never felt like a Maureen or a Mo, the ni other kids called her. “You can’t have a Mexican name,” her mother said. Luna love ico, loved the Spanish language. Her favorite word was maquillaje even though, unli girls her age, she didn’t like wearing makeup. Luna wrapped up her Camp Fire Girls scarf and navy-blue felt vest, heavy with hono mostly brown ones representing the outdoor skills she’d mastered: hitting bullseyes in building campfires, pitching tents, canoeing across a lake. She packed the scarf and lingerie box, and resigned from the Camp Fire Girls. It was just as well. Mrs. Hanc threatened to kick her out if she didn’t earn some homemaker beads, which entailed th washing and waxing a small floor, learning to iron, organizing a kitchen cupboard, pr to become a charming hostess. Instead, Luna began to read about goddesses. She learned all their names and th ent powers they possessed. She studied astrology and numerology, and practiced r her bedroom. She liked looking at pictures in National Geographic of indigenous peo designs on their faces. Painting one’s face for a spiritual purpose made sense. She ear the pages and kept the magazines under her bed. A gold-speckled rock her father had her from the Grand Canyon served as a paperweight. When he wasn’t away on busi let her decorate him like a Native man. On Saturdays, sitting in the middle of the labyrinth she created from rocks and s the backyard, Luna, holding a mirror, painted designs on her face: a snake godd started at her left temple and ended at her chin, a waning crescent moon on the rig three broken arrows on her forehead, and a cactus flower on her lips. She’d leave the weekend, refusing bribes of money from her mother to wash them off.

IHLR 2017 PhotoFinish  
IHLR 2017 PhotoFinish  

Our annual finale, released at midnight on New Year's Eve, contains poems and prose in response to a selected photo.