Monday, February 29, 2016

I want to say the words
I love you
In blackberries and maple sugar
In pawpaws and sassafrass
In beans strung in tribute
In cordage and handwoven mats
In cattail and bullrush
Sumac, bloodroot, pokeberry, walnut
In bear grease and paint pots
In cedar boughs laid at your feet.

But you offer diamonds
Like you've been taught
To the white women you prize
And I mourn for the language you've lost
For the love that you've left
For the ancestors you forsake
And for the hearts you have broken
Of our daughters never born
Of our sisters left weeping
Of myself having taken that risk to bloom
And my Indian woman walking away.

Still, I love you
In the first language.

Jess McPherson

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