Kaysera Stops Pretty Places by Jamy Bond

We do not see her at Crow Fair when officers beat her younger brother and she films it to bear witness; when she vanishes two days later and they call her a runaway, a drunk, an addict, a slut; when her picture goes missing from tree trunks and lamp posts, billboards and television screens; when search parties and sniffing dogs do not fan out across the banks of Little Horn.

We do not see her when her body is found wrapped in garbage bags, tucked behind a pile of rotting wood, and no one tells her parents that their daughter is dead, leaving them alone to comb the greasy grass along the river’s edge. 

We do not see her the second time she disappears; when detectives ignore the tips and leads, fail to file warrants, overlook the ligature welts circling the delicate skin of her neck, burn her down to ash and small fragments of bone, seal her in a box the size of a palm.  

We do not see her or the many like her, pulled into the cabs of barreling oil tankers headed to the man camps near Bakken, dragged into woods, stuffed into car trunks, locked up in motel rooms.

We do not see them on the windswept high plains of the prairie where generations of Crow and Cheyenne grandmothers and grandfathers, Blackfeet mothers, Fort Belknap sisters, Flathead fathers, Rocky Boy and Fort Peck brothers, all stand weeping and whispering their names: Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, Juliette Little Light, Roylynn Rides Horse, Freda Knows His Gun, Ashley Loring Heavy Runner, Henny Scott, Hanna Bear Harris, Serena Not Afraid, Olivia Lone Bear, Heavy Mountain Sheep, and the many more whose names we do not know.

Will we see them before their daughters fade into the silver sagebrush of the mountain steppe? Will we know their names?

For information on #MMIW and to join Flash Frog in donating please visit https://mmiwusa.org/ or https://www.nativewomenswilderness.org/mmiw.

JAMY BOND — Jamy’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Barren Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, XRAY Lit, Wigleaf, The Sun Magazine, The Rumpus, Furious Gravity, and on NPR’s The Sound of Writing. She earned an MFA from George Mason University where she co-founded the journal So To Speak.

Art by CLAUDIA LUNDAHL — Claudia is an artist and writer from New York. She attended the City University of New York at Hunter College. She now lives in London, England with her husband and their two dogs. Find more of her work online at www.claudianlundahl.com or on Twitter @claudrosewrites.