Sunday, April 27, 2008


Apology to the Wasps

Terrorized by your stings,
I took out biochemical weapons
And blasted your nest
Like it was a third world country.

I was the United States Air Force.
It felt good to be so powerful
Until I saw your family
Trailing shredded wings,
Staggering on disintegrating legs,
Trying desperately to save the eggs
You had stung to protect.

The poem is over. I am sorry to follow it up immediately with my words, so busy and newsy and non-poetic but I wanted to include a bio of Sara Littlecrow-Russell, from University of Arizona Press about The Secret Powers of Naming, (University of Arizona Press 2006), the book in which this poem was published.
This is a stunning collection of poems written by Anishanaabe (Ojibway)-Naxi Metis lawyer, mediator and political activist. Rather than actively repressing painful information, Ms. Littlecrow-Russell models the creative energy that flows from acknowledging exploitation. Her strong voice is truth-telling prophetic as she writes about poverty, death, racism, patriarchy, legal travesties, nationalist sentiments, and other issues as related to Native American life. Ms. Littlecrow-Russell is a single mother, playwright and anti-racism organizer who fills her poems with quips, sarcasm and humor. In Ojibway, the word zhaabwii is loosely translated as the act of passing through intact. She witnesses, holding out hope for the survival of the spirit and restoration of her community.
Every day I am humbled by the genius, integrity and committment of others.

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