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  • Writer's pictureAlyesha Wise

I woke in a world today and the air smelled like all the men had disappeared.

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Opened the blinds

and the men were still here.

A breeze caught my skirt

but did not catch a violent eye.

I turned to my neighbor

and our memories began to cry.

We poured them into a cup and offered them

to the land

hoping that our grievances would not wake

a hungry man.

But as the garden bloomed upon swallowing

our grief

we looked down at the soil

for the soil

was washing our feet.

And the trees stretched their necks as our own backs

had risen.

They looked to us and said,

You are the us we have envisioned.

For if all the women feel safe, then we

feel safe, too.

No more chopping down at the neck and using us for the fruit.

No more carving into the bark and blaming us for the root.

If Native women are heard then the earth is heard, too.

We used to inhale air that was clogged in untruth.

But if all of you breathe life then we breathe life, too.

And as the sun began to set and make way

for the moon’s night

we looked down at a loving people alive

by their own light.

The children sung songs of seeing themselves


They listened to tales of humans who thought

like fools

from listening

to hungry men, always dressed as wolves

in a world that thought wolves was a synonym for flee

in a world that rather google search the synonym for free

in a world that caged women as if women were not the key, we

had to believe in a new way to dream, we

had to

wake up, wake up, and see

every and all of each woman

for each breathes

us life.

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