THE STAYING BY LIZA WOLFF-FRANCIS
When I was twelve, we began to stay in the same place,
though my grandmothers warned that not moving is dangerous.
When we arrived here, we knew as if the trees told us
by their sway in the breeze, as if the ground told us in its song,
this place was for us and we felt the blessings of Mother,
her pleasure, spirit rising in our chests.
And what of the past?
Our loved ones fade into memory, leave behind a charred
taste in the mouth, covered by the busyness of ants. The land
we walked across was the path to what we now claim as ours.
We built a barricade to protect this new place, but sun shines
on both sides without noticing its stubborn torso. Cranes fly over it,
their wings reach out to sky, connect each end of horizon.