the red dust (2018)

Context: I wrote this poem several years ago, and I decided to share it here with other creative work I have hidden in my digital archive. I hope to begin writing again and share the stories I have created. 


children run through the cornfields, trampling her younger sisters

they play; catching and holding onto an everlasting light

giggling with the magic in their hands,

grandmothers’ prayers drift into the air, mingling with the spirits of old.

mother is back. alongside her, Conquistadors


grandmother doesn’t sing.

the fire seems dimmer, the stories are barely alive.

i place them into the rugs like spider woman taught me to.

i lost my mother when i was 8.

my brother when he was 4.

this is all that is left, a woven story,

keeping me warm, when grandmother couldn’t.


the red dust settles.

smoke strangling our lungs.

with sharpened blades and whips in hand,

the white monsters prods us like cattle,

staining grandmother’s rug with my blood.

different body parts hang, lifeless and stolen.

shards of rubble are familiar caresses.

they told us we’re going somewhere. somewhere far away.

many refused, many died.


instilled in me since

intergenerational pain and violence swirl, but most of all, fear.

my grandmother’s screams disrupts the midnight silence

an unfamiliar place, i cover her with the rug of her mother.

basking her in the presence of memorable sights and feels,

for a rhythm that we have forgotten.

for the first time in a long time, i hear prayers instead of screams.


children run through the cornfields, carefully passing her younger sisters.

560 years of pain no longer echoes through their bodies.

our flesh made whole from the mixture of clay and corn.

mother is back, alongside her, a familiar rug.

coated and intimate with the strength and wisdom of her mothers.

trauma is history. our stories the future.

we are Diné.

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