come into being or existence
Ts’its’tsi’nako, Thought-Woman, is sitting in her room and whatever she thinks about
a formal event performed on a special occasion
The only cure I know is a good
ceremony, that’s what she said.
the remains of something that has been destroyed
He tossed in the old iron bed, and the coiled springs kept squeaking even after he lay still again, calling up humid dreams of black night and loud voices rolling him over and over again like
debris caught in a flood.
lacking substance or significance
Sometimes the Japanese voices came first, angry and loud, pushing the song far away, and then he could hear the shift in his dreaming, like a
slight afternoon wind changing its direction, coming less and less from the south, moving into the west, and the voices would become Laguna voices, and he could hear Uncle Josiah calling to him, Josiah bringing him the fever medicine when he had been sick a long time ago.
to throw or bend back from a surface
He could still see them now—the creamy sorrel, the bright red bay, and the gray roan—their slick summer coats
reflecting the sunlight as it came up from behind the yellow mesas, shining on them, strung out behind Josiah’s horse like an old-time pack train.
become undone by separating the fibers or threads of
So Tayo had to sweat through those nights when thoughts became entangled; he had to sweat to think of something that wasn’t
unraveled or tied in knots to the past—something that existed by itself, standing alone like a deer.
be fully aware or cognizant of
That was the first time Tayo had
realized that the man’s skin was not much different from his own.
giving or marked by complete attention to
The process of weaning had gone on like this for weeks, but the nanny was more
intent on weeds than the lesson, and when Tayo left them, the kid goat was back at the tits, a little more careful this time.
a shortage of rainfall
drought years had returned again, as they had after the First World War and in the twenties, when he was a child and they had to haul water to the sheep in big wooden barrels in the old wagon.
strew or distribute over an area
The dry air shrank the wooden staves of the barrels; they pulled loose, and now the rusty steel hoops were
scattered on the ground behind the corral in the crazy patterns of some flashy Kiowa hoop dancer at the Gallup Ceremonials, throwing his hoops along the ground where he would hook and flip them into the air again and they would skim over his head and shoulders down to his dancing feet, like magic.
the aggregate of leaves of one or more plants
Jungle rain had no beginning or end; it grew like
foliage from the sky, branching and arching to the earth, sometimes in solid thickets entangling the islands, and, other times, in tendrils of blue mist curling out of coastal clouds.
be contingent upon
Nothing was all good or all bad either; it all
Tayo talked to the corporal almost
incessantly, walking behind him with his end of the blanket stretcher, telling him that it wasn’t much farther now, and all down hill from there.
come near or verge on
Then from somewhere, within the sound of the rain falling, he could hear it
approaching like a summer flash flood, the rumble still faint and distant, floodwater boiling down a narrow canyon.
not circulating or flowing
He could smell the foaming flood water,
stagnant and ripe with the rotting debris it carried past each village, sucking up their sewage, their waste, the dead animals.
sharply exact or accurate or delimited
When the corn was gone, the mule licked for the salt taste on his hand; the tongue was rough and wet, but it was also warm and
precise across his fingers.
pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
The smoke had been dense; visions and memories of the past did not
penetrate there, and he had drifted in colors of smoke, where there was no pain, only pale, pale gray of the north wall by his bed.
lacking clarity or distinctness
He leaned against the depot wall then; he was sweating, and sounds were becoming outlines again,
vague and hollow in his ears, and he knew he was going to become invisible right there.
having many complexly arranged elements; elaborate
Harley was drawing an
intricate pattern in the dirt, moving his forefinger without pausing then.
make believe with the intent to deceive
Tayo shook his head and threw his arms up in front of him,
pretending to push the idea away.
call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response
He was tired of fighting off the dreams and the voices; he was tired of guarding himself against places and things which
evoked the memories.
They were the same—the mule and old Grandma, she sitting in the corner of the room in the wintertime by the potbelly stove, or the summertime on an apple crate under the elm tree; she was as blind as the gray mule and just as
express grief after the death of a loved one
mourned Rocky that way, by slipping, lapsing into the plans he had for college and for his football career.
rise upward under the influence of a force such as a wave
The force of gravity seemed to
surge up at him and pull him down.
prevent from being seen or discovered
Many years ago she had taken him to
conceal the shame of her younger sister.
immune to attack; incapable of being tampered with
When Rocky died he became
unassailable forever in his frame on top of her bureau; his death gave her new advantages with the people: she had given so much.
to move in a twisting or contorted motion,
He pulled his knees up to his belly and
writhed in the bed, fighting back the gagging.
boredom resulting from overexposure to something
But his advantage was the Army doctors who told her and Robert that the cause of battle
fatigue was a mystery, even to them.
overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
In the beginning old Grandma and Robert stayed away from him, except to say “Good morning” or “Good night”; the sickness and his crying
foster the growth of
cultivated this deafness for as many years as he had been married to Auntie.
disease that involves the clouding of the lens of the eye
Old Grandma stood up straight when she said this and stared at Auntie with milky
return to life; get or give new life or energy
The rattlesnakes liked to lie there in the early spring, when the days were still cool and the sun warmed the black lava rock first; the snakes went there to
restore life to themselves.
a depression formed by the impact of a meteorite or bomb
It was all too alien to comprehend, the mortars and big guns; and even if he could have taken the old man to see the target areas, even if he could have led him through the fallen jungle trees and muddy
craters of torn earth to show him the dead, the old man would not have believed anything so monstrous.
change into a vapor
Ku’oosh would have looked at the dismembered corpses and the atomic heat-flash outlines, where human bodies had
evaporated, and the old man would have said something close and terrible had killed these people.
shell containing lead pellets that explodes in flight
Cash from disability checks earned with
shrapnel in the neck at Wake Island or shell shock on Iwo Jima; rewards for surviving the Bataan Death March.
an impelling force or strength
He could feel the words coming out faster and faster, the
momentum building inside him like the words were all going to explode and he wanted to finish before it happened.
sharpen with a whetstone
honing his knife; he tested the blade on a thread hanging from the sleeve of his jacket.
with intention; in an intentional manner
After their first year at boarding school in Albuquerque, Tayo saw how Rocky
deliberately avoided the old-time ways.
cause to feel resentment or indignation
They had to show their love and respect, their appreciation; otherwise, the deer would be
offended, and they would not come to die for them the following year.
the act of excusing a mistake or offense
We better send someone to ask our