Fuckin they’re on Native Time.
I ain’t scared Ma, I’m mad.
Fuckin chicken shit!
I’m shaking cause I’m mad, Ma, that’s how mad I am!
Two sets of footsteps, one a halfbeat behind. She catches up to Ma
as they pass me, raging about white cunts
on stolen land
they’s just borrowing this place
we run this place
we run these streets
They run their mouths right past me, and I’m measuring my steps, steady, rock steady in the beat I’m laying down, these are square-heeled boots, I say by my stride, these are asskicking boots, girls.
Ready to swing Freddy in his hard shell case, one guitar could rule them both, I am torn between opening arms like wings to sweep them into sisterhood
and pinning them to the spittled, gritty sidewalk, listen bitches you run nothing.
They don’t need to be told that.
I heard the screaming as i descended from the train.
There was that young boy who’d stood in the train vestibule with me, shy, tall, stout, a boy I’ve seen down through the years wearing many sweet faces; never will not see him standing there, shifting from foot to foot, bashful, as his father rages, What is wrong with you, boy? Stop mumbling, and stop that rocking. Are you a damn retard?
That boy over and over puts on buffalo robes of fat and muscle and false, dangerous nonchalance; but this one I hear whisper, when the crowd has stepped away from us, shh, as if to the voice of fear, to still some raging father.
He is chivalrous in the distance he keeps and he pushes the button to open our door and i smile just near him not close enough to force him to interact, he turns toward the hospital, and i can’t tell whether it’s to visit some father or mother or for help of his own, but i hold a space of sweetness around me, let it spin out to him, shhh blue calm. I have been there so many times, the Royal Alec, so many stories … shh blue calm shh blue calm
Then I hear the screaming, walk on and see, a woman whirling her arm with a bag attached, like some messed up windmill swinging, bawling epithets involving F! this and that. Go round the other side of the central shelter, toward the transit truck, whose driver is on his radio, and watching, narrating into his radio this woman freaking out, at what? herself? someone else?
She batters at air and I turn and walk on. This is not my story.
But then they are behind me, and they’re coming, mother and daughter tough talking for all they’re worth, and that is all they’re worth, and it fuels their rage.
Does their rage include me?
I’ve just spent 2 hours with young indigenous scholars talking about learning matters, and we matter, and the whole world may well open to them as it has opened to me in answer to my call. I even bragged about my face, this rivers-blended face, that lets me be normal in so many parts of the world, lets me pass through the open door, and choose – is this a point of pride? – choose to say look, indigenous is normal, we belong, i’m here. And here I am in front of them, my hands full, coiled and ready, I strengthen my back line so they can see they’d better not fuck with me. They pass, trembling, pathetic, skinny asses.
We’re the wolves, growls the mother, giving it her all for her daughter, who must learn to keep up. She called me a savage, but i told her, i told her ma, you wanna talk trash, I’m lookin at trash, you wanna try me, bitch!
They might not even be able to see me, so much depends on focus. They stop at the next bus shelter. I pass and press the crossing light. Of course, a bus comes before the light changes. How do they imagine they’ll be let on? How in the world?
I see the driver keep the front door firmly closed, signal to the other rider to go to the back door, and she does, but these wolves bay on at his front door. I cross, ears up, as they kick the bus, kick the shelter, voices winding high again. I cross. I have no sweet song to offer here. I am not in their story.
We will not read about this on the web, nor hear it on the radio. They may be arrested, they may be counted, they may be dead inside a month, their walmart second hand shoes too soft, and their faux leather handbags deeply wounded.
I’m another sort of beast.
How savage is attention? Intention? Destination? May all my relations
be home and warm tonight.
Beyond Alexandra, the streets are soon swallowed in shady trees again, not soon enough for some, but you can see it, right? – shh blue calm shh blue calm shh blue calm