worthy of religious veneration
The thin winter snow was already gone from the high peaks, and the
sacred mountain was a dusty, dry blue color.
pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness
The ribbons were speckled with dead flies and a few that made
feeble attempts to pull loose.
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
But in the jungle he had not been able to
endure the flies that had crawled over Rocky; they had enraged him.
disclose to view as by removing a cover
Years of rain and wind had weathered away the adobe plaster,
exposing the symmetry of the brown adobes which were beginning to lose their square shape, taking on the softer contours of the mesas and hills.
consisting of great mass
They had been cut from heavy oak planks, and they spiraled around the
massive center timber like the small bones of a spine held in place by thick wooden pegs.
pull or pull out sharply
He smelled the waxy dark green leaves, and remembered climbing the big cottonwood trees along the river and
plucking heavy hanging bunches of cottonwood berries that grew on the female trees late in the summer.
become faint or more distant
The sickness had
receded into a shadow behind him, something he saw only out of the corners of his eyes, over his shoulder.
affording physical relief
soothing to rub the dust over his hands; he rubbed it carefully across his light brown skin, the stark white gypsum dust making a spotted pattern, and then he knew why it was done by the dancers: it connected them to the earth.
take charge of or deal with
But if you were an Indian, you
attended to business and then left, and you were never in that town after dark.
move back and forth very rapidly
He circled the mound and stared at a faded blue rag partially uncovered,
quivering in the wind.
(of the elements) in a wild and stormy manner
Thick black smoke climbed
furiously into the cloudless blue sky, hot and windless.
void of thought or knowledge
They walked like survivors, with dull
vacant eyes, their fists clutching the coins he’d thrown to them.
The old man was tall and his chest was wide; at one time he had been heavier, but old age was
consuming everything but the bones.
contrast with equal weight or force
The boxes were stacked crookedly, some stacks leaning into others, with only their
opposing angles holding them steady.
cease to consider
He wanted to
dismiss all of it as an old man’s rubbish, debris that had fallen out of the years, but the boxes and trunks, the bundles and stacks were plainly part of the pattern: they followed the concentric shadows of the room.
put in the place of another
But with this old man it did not end there; under the medicine bags and bundles of rawhide on the walls, he saw layers of old calendars, the sequences of years confused and lost as if occasionally the oldest calendars had fallen or been taken out from under the others and then had been
replaced on top of the most recent years.
consider as the favorite
He recognized names of stores in Phoenix and Albuquerque, but in recent years the old man had
favored Santa Fe Railroad calendars that had Indian scenes painted on them—Navajos herding sheep, deer dancers at Cochiti, and little Pueblo children chasing burros.
He laughed, and when his laughter seemed almost to
cease, he would shake his head and laugh all over again.
break down, literally or metaphorically
The tears ran along the sides of Tayo’s nose and off his chin; as they fell, the hollow inside his chest folded into the black hole, and he waited for the
collapse into himself.
permitting much or everything
His sickness was only part of something larger, and his cure would be found only in something great and
inclusive of everything.
inspiring mixed contempt and sorrow
The calendars Betonie got for free and the phone books that he picked up in his travels—all of it seemed suddenly so
pitiful and small compared to the world he knew the white people had—a world of comfort in the sprawling houses he’d seen in California, a world of plenty in the food he had carried from the officers’ mess to dump into garbage cans.
cause to move forward with force
propelled him to his feet; his legs were stiff from sitting for so long.
influence or control shrewdly or deviously
Some people act like witchery is responsible for everything that happens, when actually witchery only
manipulates a small portion.”
It is very peaceful with the bears; the people say that’s the reason human beings
be inherent or innate in
“They want us to believe all evil
resides with white people.
ripen and generate pus
Entire tribes will die out covered with
festered sores shitting blood vomiting blood.
unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
The world below was distant and small; it was dwarfed by a sky so blue and
vast the clouds were lost in it.
a smooth three-beat gait
When they got close enough that they could smell wood smoke, they pulled the running horses down to a
lope and then a trot.
unique or specific to a person or thing or category
She held her mouth tight, teeth clenched under her thin lips, and she stared at them with hazel green eyes that had a
peculiar night shine of a wolf or bobcat.
lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
The old men discussed the stupidity of the young men in tones of great
mentally or physically infirm with age
We try to teach our children to avoid touching alien things, but every day they see you do it, you
senile old man.
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
Although the people detected changes in the ceremonies Descheeny performed, they
tolerated them because of his acknowledged power to aid victims tainted by Christianity or liquor.
express opposition through action or words
My mother and my old aunts did not
resist because it all had been settled before Descheeny died.
thin and weak
He turned away from the calendar; he felt sick, like a walking shadow, faint and
wispy, his sense of balance still swaying from the ride in the cab of the tank truck.
have the idea for
He wanted to laugh at the station man who did not even know that his existence and the existence of all white people had been
conceived by witchery.
shout loudly and without restraint
Helen Jean squealed and laughed because Leroy’s driving threw them hard against each other; Harley had his arms around her neck,
bellowing out war whoops and laughs.
ask for something
Monday she borrowed Elaine’s blue dress, and she went down to the Kimo theater to
apply for the job they advertised in the theater window.
a feeling of intense anger
The Isleta turned to her; his eyes were pinched with
feed as in a meadow or pasture
At twilight the earth was darker than the sky, and it was difficult to see if any of Romero’s sheep or goats were
grazing along the edge of the pavement.
intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one
So they tried to sink the loss in booze, and silence their
grief with war stories about their courage, defending the land they had already lost.