Remember you are from thousands
some moving on ships’ first voyages
second maybe third.
You are from dirt and mud
from  valley in northern California
where salmon ran freely through
undammed rivers.

Remember you are from the blood
and breath of women who marched
women who cowered    women who wove
grasses into mats and baskets
birthed into dirt or on a ship swaying
its way across the Atlantic Ocean.

Remember how the berries grew
in clusters    low to the ground
You gathered them    pounded them
dried the mutilated fruit.
While she could hear creaking of boards
straining to separate the waters of a strange
and stubborn sea - remember.

Author: Joan Hagy

Photo: Viva Americana on Unsplash

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