Dear New Blood

You don’t need me, I know, here on this podium with my poem. You hunched
in the back of the room, tilted in your lean reservation lean. You ho-hum your
gaze out the window toward some other sky.

Dear new blood, dear holy dear fully mixed up mixed down mixed in and out
blood, go ahead and kick the shit, kiss the shit from my ears. I swear I swear
I’ll listen. Stutter at stutter at me you uptown weed you thorn you petal, aim
my old flowered face at the sky.

I know you don’t need me, here on this podium with my poem. You pressed
flat to the wall, shoulders cocked, loaded for makwa, for old growlers like me.
You yawn your glance out the window at the tempting sky.

Wake me. Bang my dead drum drum, clang clang my anvil my bell. Shout me
hush me your song, your shiny impossible, your long wounded song. Tell me
everything you know, you don’t. Tell me, do you feel conquered and
occupied? Maybe I’ve forgotten. Sing it plain, has America ever been America
to you, let you be you in your own sky?

Sing deep Chaco, deep Minneapolis, deep Standing Rock, deep Oakland and
LA. Sing deep Red Cliff, sing Chicago, deep Acoma, deep Pine Ridge and
Tahlequah. Sing and mourn. I think you, too, were born with broken heart.
Rise. Smash your un-American throat against the edge of the reddening sky.

Mark Turcotte, “Dear New Blood.” Copyright © 2020 by Mark Turcotte. Used with the permission of the poet.