How a young boy is raised by his grandfather on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. The book denotes various aspects of O’odham himdag (culture) and begins with a simple question that the boy asks his Hu’ul Ke:li (Grandfather) with a culturally relevant answer as to why they do the things they do during the day. Various activities include waking up early in the morning and asking why they do so – to daily chores and activities such as tending horses, working in the garden, hauling water, and gathering food/medicine in the desert.
The annual seasons and rhythms of the desert are a dance of clouds, wind, rain, and flood—water in it roles from bringer of food to destroyer of life. The critical importance of weather and climate to native desert peoples is reflected with grace and power in this personal collection of poems, the first written creative work by an individual in O’odham and a landmark in Native American literature.
When Marta ruins her homework and breaks her glasses, her grandmother soothes her with an ancient story and one of her delicious tortillas.