War

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

anniversary.

 

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

humanity.

 

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

my vision.

Lee Maracle, “War” from Bent Box. Copyright © 2000 by Lee Maracle. Reprinted by permission of the author.