In my body flows the blood of Gallic
Bastille stormers and the soft, gentle
ways of Salish/Cree womanhood.
Deep throated base tones dissipate,
swallowed by the earth; uproarious
laughter sears, mutilates my voice.
Child of the earth-tear of west
coast rain; dew drop sparkling in
the crisp, clear sun of my home.
Warm woman of the Mediterranean sunscape,
bleaching rough cotton-sweatshop
Thunderous, rude earthquakes that
split my spirit within. Tiny grapes
of wine console me.
Can I deny a heritage blackened by
the toil of billions, conceived in
rape, plunder and butchery?
In the veins, that fight to root themselves
in the wondrous breadth of my
homeland, races the blood of base
European thief; liar, bloodsucker.
I deny you not. I fear you not. Your
reality and mine no longer rankles me.
I am moved by my love for human life;
by the firm conviction that all the world
must stop the butchery, stop the slaughter.
I am moved by my scars, by my own filth
to re-write history with my body
to shed the blood of those who betray themselves
To life, world humanity I ascribe
To my people… my history… I address
Lee Maracle, “War” from Bent Box. Copyright © 2000 by Lee Maracle. Reprinted by permission of the author.