21 November 2009

oneword # 21 overflowing

               for m. l. smoker

The Poet moves
through the room
wearing a glove of numbers
devastating to her people.

Again and again
her hands hit the mic
clipped to her neckline
bumping words
as she weaves a trail
of misery and injustice.

Some words cannot be spoken.

Her tears cover us
with American Indian suicide statistics
for children in our state.
Eighteen, last year.
Totals arrived at
in rooms behind doors,
take shape in faces
forgotten, not seen.
Lives swept under rugs.

Visages swim
through the room,
diving into the saltwater sea of guilt
held at bay with centuries
of deliberate diseducation
designed to drown voices,
designed to make dead.

The Poet glimmers
beneath numbers,
opening channels
for hope to flow.