Katherine (lunaesia) wrote in poetryworkshop9,

It's been quiet around here for a while.

As a little bit of explanation for this piece, I've been doing a summer of service at the Native American Baha'i Institute out in the Navajo Nation. I wrote this the day after the most recent sweatlodge I attended (unrelated to the Institute).

I Rise Up

in the smell of sage and sweat,
leaving my shame in the earth
that is large enough to hold it.

I do not know that I should not be here.
I do not forget that I do not belong.

I walk over the earth,
its canyons and mudflows,
and the red mountain of my dreams.

This land of our ancestors is holy.

But this is neither my land, nor the land
of my ancestors, who have long since been
from their earthly origins.
By their own traditions,
I inherit nothing,
not even diaspora.

It is we, the halfbreeds, who must believe in
the Kingdom of God—
it is the only home
we can ever hope to see.
It is we, the mongrels,
eternal exiles of the root,
who understand
that it is the earth that owns us,
while we walk here,
living above it.

I rise up in the smell
of sweat and sage,
and walk over the earth:
and its teachers,
and its preachers,
and its pirates,
and its beauty queens,
and its children—
the five-fingered people that we are—
taking shelter here for the span of a life
until the time arrives that we are all called

to come home.
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