jmb logo


NAME: Ramona Medicine Crow  


Ramona Faith Medicine Crow is a member of the Crow Nation. She was both born and raised on the reservation, where she graduated from High School and attended Little Big Horn Junior College. She is fluent in both Crow and English.

She moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design. It was after this that she started writing short stories and poetry. She derives her talents inherently from her family who are also artists. Both her brother and sister are visual artists, bead workers, leather workers, sculptors, photographers, prominent traditional storytellers, tribal historians, and published authors. It is her grandfather, Joseph Medicine Crow, revered tribal elder, who continues to be a major the inspiration for Ramona.


"I was going through an artistic block for some time around 2000 to 2002 and I started journaling and experimenting in poetry first then eventually stories at the encouragement of friends and fellow writers. I had an artistic and spiritual reawakening and resurgence, an epiphany. I started writing and painting like mad. Through my writings my initial beliefs were reinforced as to why I even came out to New York City for school. I needed to be away from home to fully appreciate home, family, and culture. My writings have made me understand myself better and to finally heal from a painful past. Not only that but also to allow my art, whether it be artwork or writing, to heal, inspire, and encourage me to meet all my aspirations as an artist in every sense of the word"



Jesus crowd, Jesus crowd,

they taste like bitter iron on the back of my tongue
makes me sick to my stomache
it brings to mind a discarded old battery block
with it's corrosive liquids spilling out
killing everything in it's path

My 5 year old soul & impressionable heart
already so heavy with words of bile and fear
all taken and parroted from their so called
"good book"
according to their be all end all
"thou shalt nots.."

My baby feet growing into young teenage feet
have not touched buckskin soles of moccasins,
nor have they felt the empowerment of their
native songs and drums
toes have not tingled in joy at knowing every beat and words of
my people's songs
feeling the air & warm sun on my cheeks at our ceremonies
along with the rest of my "unsaved" relations
Nor sharing in their inner joy and pride
because of "thou shalt not." always ringing in my ears

I have grown weary & tired since I was old enough to feel fear
So now I have taken back my moccasins
and will no longer tolerate anyone's
"thou shalt not."
I have claimed what was always mine.

© 2005 By Mona Crow


duk, duk, duk.
her black, shiny pigtails flying
along the winding dirt path
the swings sit, sparkling bright
from the summer sunshine
she jumps on the swings
up, up, up. higher, higher
she flies

her pigtails bouncing
ittle brown cheeks
beaming with joy.

behind her
unbeknownst to her
the smoke from the
large gnarled tree blows
in her direction

the shadow shifts
adjusting the Marlboro
that hangs between
the old thin lips

his yellow, runny, eyes squint
he wipes away the greasy, stringy, grey hair
from his sweat stained brow

the glass, fire water bottle
keeps tipping between drags.

the slits of his eyes gleam

such joy radiating from the swings
"huaa go waa!"
"come here!"

everything stops
with that gruff voice
from the trees

she does as she was taught to do
'obey your elders'
he grabs her from behind
his rough, calloused fingers everywhere
hurting everything

stale, putrid odors
blow onto her little girl neck
makes her want to throw up

she stares at the swings.
how lonely they look
she wishes she never came here
she hates the swings

she shoots out of the dark
duk, duk, duk.

Her black, shiny pigtails flying.

© 2005 By Mona Crow


whish, whish,
splash, down, down
down on her head

Her red parka falls back down on her black braided hair
as her little brown face looks up then down
wondering 'huh?'

quarters, dimes, half dollar coins

All the coins sparkling up at her
'look at me! pick me up!'
baby, brown face looks down
smiles & she thinks, 'oh boy!'

The winter sunshine
radiates off her rosy cheeks
as she picks up the coins and counts
Her favorite being the half dollar coins
are nice & heavy on her blue mittens

Then from above a loud voice shouts,
"hey there!  come on up! There's more up here!"
she squints up, an old man leans out of the window,
thick glasses glaring down

She stops smiling, hesitates, something in her tells her to leave
but, the old man,
"I know your grandfather. We're friends, come on now.."
she remembers she is going to the store to meet grandpa
so he can take her home.

The old man voice silkens,
"you know, you can buy lots of candies, pops.with all these coins! Go on
now, up the stairs."

Dark, narrow, stairs lead up to his door
she wrinkles her nose, smells funny and old up here
she never had so many coins before!
the man shuts the door
she asks, "Where are the coins!"
He  says he wants to show her something first,
counter top has lots of magazines
with men and women with their nasty parts showing.

The ball of fear rushes its nauseous dread throughout her body
she wants to leave, he says, "This is what men and woman do.your such a
pretty girl!
little girl, "no I'm not, I'm a tomboy!"
He disagrees,
She squares her shoulders and balls her fist,
"I'm gonna see my grandpa, he's waiting for me right now!'

He says darkly,
"Don't tell anyone I showed you these."
as he puts more coins in her mittens.

Her 6-year-old legs carry her as fast as she dares
down, down
the stairs, the door slams open

Out into the late afternoon
she hurls down
the coins into the muddy wet gutter

Down, Down
splashing in the dirty water
forever tainted

© 2005 By Mona Crow