Sunday, November 30, 2014

Certainty

I am certain my daughter and my niece
never worry they will be shot dead
in the face if they have car trouble
and knock on a door for help.

I am certain my daughter and my niece
never worry that their sons will be shot dead 
by police on their way to the check out with a
BB gun they picked up in the WalMart toy department.

I am certain my daughter and my niece
never worry that their sons will be shot dead
by police if they take that BB gun to the park,
even if they plink a few squirrels.

I am certain my daughter and my niece
never worry their sons, armed with Arizona Tea
and Skittles, will be shot dead by a white man
on a rainy night in a gated community.

I am certain my daughter and my niece
never worry their sons will be shot dead
by police for walking down the street in their 
own neighborhood, and left there 4 1/2 hours.

I do not know how to end this
but I am certain it isn’t over
by a long shot.

#BlackLivesMatter

My name is Cyn McCollum, and I am a white poet who refuses to stay silent while this country murders people who look like Renisha McBride, John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown, and my brown skinned friend. I refuse to remain silent. I have right to be angry.

http://youtu.be/j8wWChI-x8o

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pale Rats

They said come to a feast, and we did.
There was not enough, 4 pitiful birds,
so our elders said go bring 5 deer, 
and gather what we could. 90 of us, why would 
they plan so poorly? How could they not know?
These people will starve in the cold season.

These people, they are making wampum.
Stripping the waters for food, they now harvest 
the shell bits and trade it back for the belts
that once displayed the wealth of our elders, 
carried on their persons. The food part
is left to rot on the shore. The waste!

They came in like the tide, wave
after wave, ever eroding the land
and pushing the People back farther
into the second growth after the plague
like pale rats, amazing in their numbers.
Timing could not have been worse for us.

We’ve had enough. We began at Detroit and move 
strongly southeast to the place they called Fort Pitt. 
We were strong and they were, once again, starving. 
Their Chief Ecyyer called parley that summer, and offered gifts 
of two blankets and a small cloth to each of our diplomats
as a sign of goodwill. Another plague came.

During Red Cloud’s war, he found a hat.
Or maybe he took it as coup, that truth is lost.
But the one that remains is he refused to give up
our dignity to the pale rats that pushed us
farther and farther back into the desert,
away from our plains, our land, our home.