Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I have been stockpiling weapons in the kitchen cupboard.
Machine guns, pistols, knives, and clubs, some as long as one inch.
I find them around the apartment lost by my sons
from the Star Wars toys their father once collected in tribute
to his own father and childhood.

I used to throw them away, but now as my little cache
grows, I feel as though each one points to some
future crime they won't commit, in some future
world that does not love weapons--holy be thy gun.

Did you know, one says to me, in the Ewok Village
there are no stores. The Ewoks kill animals and eat them.
Then they make blankets for their babies with the fur.
People once lived this way, I tell him, though he does
not yet believe that people were ever another way
or that we ourselves could be different.

I find the two-year-old stuck under his brother's bed
at 3am, crying. I have to turn his head to pull him out
and then he cries for an hour and cannot settle back to sleep.
Open, open, open, I whisper to myself. Stay here.
Do not shut out sorrow whensoever it may come.

I am reading Langston Hughes and thinking about
how I fit the profile of the nice White
person who never believed "that man" could win the presidency.
I am the one who said it was all a joke.
What does this say about me?
My ignorance, my privilege, my shame, & advocacy--

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be! 

In the woods beside the river, silence.
Alone I feel my breath like a mountain rising up in me
like the sea from which we all cleave--
If I can touch this soft and open hollow
If I can speak it into being and find another way
If I can sing even the humble lullaby of my feet
pressed against the earth, and see the birds lift in unison today
If I--

In the Ewok Village, my son tells me, some Ewoks have babies
and they pet the babies' heads and they fall right to sleep.
They sleep in baskets covered in animal fur.
Do you know how to wake a baby Ewok? He asks.
No. How?
You tap him on the head like this and then he wakes.