you singed my tongue with a new breed of speech,
Muscogee dances descend upon erosion,
how can you still drive me into retreat?
making me believe your heart holds empathy,
my polluted Mother is almost lost,
why can’t I convince you to believe in me?
children went to sleep at night in a safe place,
there were no radiated rivers nor COVID disease,
but now you behold an emaciated race;
I am the essence of a dying turtle’s call,
you’ve stolen everything—even my dignity,
how can you hurt me more when I’ve already lost it all?
Copyright © 2021 Deidra Suwanee Dees.
Image Credit: Deidra Suwanee Dees
Dr. Deidra Suwanee Dees is the Director/Tribal Archivist at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in the U.S. State of Alabama. In her second job, she teaches in the Native American Studies Program at the University of South Alabama which was initiated by the 2014 sponsorship of the Tribe. She earned her doctorate at Harvard, writing her dissertation on the Muscogee Education Movement which documents Creeks’ turbulent sociopolitical journey to achieve equal access to public education from 1928-49. She is deeply in love with Mother Earth and sends heleswv heres (good medicine) to the people of Mother Earth. Mvto.