A Song Of My People, Should They Accept Me

by candleships

Mirror, mirror, shiver me timers,

three shots of rum and it’s not any clearer

to the people I’ll run in to later tonight,

to the pictures I’ll be taking under darkened lights,

that I was not built for beauty.

 

I was built for walking.

 

I come from a people who haven’t forgotten the roots left behind

when they were pulled like weeds, culled like beasts,

and corralled onto the path to their future.

 

I was built in their honor,

built in the image of the tears they trailed in their wake,

the tears that blossomed into the white rose: Neakita.

 

I was built to let them stand again, out of red earth from Oklahoma,

the people who crawled from a hole in the ground and into the flaming sun,

and flourished under it.

They do not deserve these scars.

 

Twenty-two hundred miles of death-dotted trails,

carrying only blankets reeking of disease, $50 to spend, and a loaded gun,

it’s no wonder there’s a grave every step of the way.

There still is today.

 

So, Lax Bro, I wasn’t built to be pretty.

And Lacrosse? More like Stick Ball, war’s little brother,

not played but fought across the plains.

Do not test me.

And don’t you dare desecrate the sport my people created

with your poor excuse for a personality.

I’ll cut any blanket you give to me in two.

 

I was built in their honor,

not to be pretty:

The gap between my teeth closed with seven years of dental work,

almond sliver eyes, cheekbones high and strong,

overlapping digits on my fingers and toes:

A, Chahta sia.

Yes, I am Choctaw.

I am of Chickasaw too, and

I was built to uncover this part of my culture.

 

So let me remember.

Lean on me while we walk together.

Katimma ho hotupa?

Tell me: where does it hurt?

 

 

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