At the lake where I run is an ancient tree by the water. There is life in her. Shoots of green sprout from the withered and split hulk that juts from the mud. Running past her one day, I imagined her as the Grandmother of the People. Maybe Sweet Medicine’s great grandmother. She was here when whites first arrived and she will be here when they are gone, victims of their own viciousness. The poem called Grandmother began to take shape. I sent my sister a photograph of the tree. She produced the painting Hsieh. Look for the Ghost Bird, which is Grandmother’s spirit, in the painting. See Mary Kline-Misol’s latest work in Paths: Release and Transcendence, opening October 25, 2013 at the Moberg Gallery, 2921 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. Reproduced below are pages from the show’s catalog.