A Day of Mourning

11.26

A Day of Mourning

I want to sit down and grieve
Sit in the snow
Feel the cold settling of 
Futures cut off
Back, front, inside, below

The cat cowers beneath 
A threat he feels, we cannot see
Less confident, less relaxed
He found out about the world
Yet we call him crazy?

We actually once joked, 
About the cat
Another white male in 
This house
Man spreading, balls out

What if - we welcome the
Cold breath of the trauma
Like we revel in close-warm ignorance?
Pendulate, harmonize
Sweat, shiver, move, expose

Don’t look away, 
witness frame to frame
What some bodies already know
Know like - what we’re made of
Not like: they can hold

In the forest, 
Brokenness makes a loud sound
Just the once: open tree to sky
Smashed branches spread lichen
On the earth

Where the Wea people grew
Corn, hunted bison and elk
Danced and sang in ceremony
A Black man lives each day 
23 hours in solitary

He - crochets
The Chinook nation: Clatsop, Willapa, Wahkiahkum, Cathlamet
Sent a letter every day
While Obama’s lead pardon attorney 
In protest, gave his job away

9000 un-communted sentences
245 un-recognized tribal nations
Children, ancestors, graves
Breathing souls with hopes,
Names

I want to lay the broken branches
Over my face today
Fill my mouth with rain
Here: I share the nourishment
Why not share the pain


Published by Devon Riley

Teacher, mother, plant person, film photographer, modern buddhist, intersectional feminist. I keep a journal, take hikes, love women, have a husband, make dinner daily.

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