I spend the summer near water: McKenzie River, Guemes Island, Birch Bay. You spend the summer driving from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, back again.
I am cool and my skin is happy. You are hot, your skin is thirsty. I try to teach my children how to swim. You try to raise poetry in adolescents.
In the evening, crickets scatter in driftwood, sing me to sleep. You write of mourning dove skies, cicada’s hypnotic buzz.
Despite distance we are sisters, birthed from the same wound. Half-breeds, we don’t know our own names, or stories.
But we can recite the creation myth of race, species, inferiority. We can remember there are others like us, unfound.
They have a certain darkness of hand, face, eyes; they move silently through dry desert towns and down the long Pacific coast.
Maybe they are looking for us. I’ll leave a small pile of feathers, shells and round black stones as a sign that I came this way.
In your classroom you do the same with word, sound, and jagged-cut poems.
Deborah A. Miranda, who was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 1994, is a Native American poet of Chumash/Ohlone-European ancestry. Her work has been published in Poets On, West Wind Review, and The Bellingham Review. She has poems in Weber Studies, and an autobiographical essay forthcoming in Good Girls, Bad Girls: Women, Sex, & Power in the 90’s (Rutgers University Press, 1996). She lives in Tacoma, Washington.