Leanne Howe: Evidence of Red

Artist Credit: Sharon Erla
Title: Necessity is the Mother
Mother Earth Art

Evidence of Red
by: Leanne Howe

First, night opened out.

Bodies took root from rotting salt

and seawater into evidence of red life.

Relentless waves pumped tidal air

into a single heartbeat.

In the pulp of shadow and space,water sucked our people from sleep.

That’s how it all began. At least

that’s all we can remember to tell.

It began with water and heartbeat.

In minutes we tunneled through corn woman’s navel into tinges

of moist red men and women.

Yawning, we collected our chins,

knees, breasts, and sure-footed determination.

A few thousand years before Moses parted the Red Sea, and the

God with three heads was born in the Middle East,

the Choctaw people danced

our homeland infra red.

Finally when the stranger’s arms reached to strangle the West,

Grandmother eavesdropped

on the three-faced deity

who said that chaos was coming.

When he puckered his lips and tried to kiss her she made it rain on him.

“Maybe you’ve forgotten

you were born of water and women,”

she said, walking away laughing.

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