Quanah Parker’s Mom

One thinks of Cynthia Ann Parker on the immensity of the plains, a small figure in buckskin bending to her chores by a diamond-clear stream.  It is late autumn, the end of warring and buffalo hunting.  Above her looms a single cottonwood tree, gone bright yellow in the season, its leaves and branches framing a deep blue sky.  Maybe she lifts her head to see the children and dogs playing in the prairie grass and, beyond them, the coils of smoke rising into the gathering twilight from a hundred lodge fires.  And maybe she thinks, just for a moment, that all is right in the world.

– S.C. Gwynne, from Empire of the Summer Moon

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