Falling Through The Gaps

It is North America’s dark, open secret that native women are far more likely to be raped, and far more likely to be murdered. Given the complicated and tense mesh of federal, state and tribal law – as well as entrenched racism towards indigenous people across North America – cases continue to fall through the cracks.~ Lucy Anna Gray


The history books we were forced

to memorize whitewashed the grim

reality, glossing over

the decimation

of 500 nations —

the deliberate, ironic cruelty

calling savages

those treated most savagely

by our greedy influx

pious people guided by god:

rob the inhabitants, take the land

steal their children, their languages,

their cultures.  In bold, the word


to deflect

the evil, even now refusing

to reconcile or even acknowledge

the damage.  Let alone

retrain the trainers,

compose new toddlers’ songs,

rewrite the children’s stories.

We’re still here,

they shout, to the stellar students

of books which insist they never existed

in the first place.  And no one is looking

for the women,

missing by the thousands.

We would conduct a more diligent search

for a herd stampeding

the gaping fence

of the overgrown pasture

on what they still consider

stolen land. Our perspective

so ironclad

officials scratch their heads,

shrug their shoulders.

Where could they all have gone?

So irresponsible to leave their children,

their homes, not even wearing shoes,

what must they have been thinking?

It’s a mystery,

case closed,

obviously no foul play.

It’s not a crime to abandon

everything you love,

how could we possibly

prosecute a woman

who makes that choice?

The blind injustice covering up

yet again, this callous disregard

for sacred lives.

Written for Day 10 #OctPoWriMo prompt “Falling through the cracks” and inspired by: Stellar, Fence, Herd, Overgrown, Trainer

And the documentary Vanished: The Search For Murdered And Missing Native American Women.  Watch it here.


The spotlight frames the fiend

center stage and so true

to life we all adopt

fake smiles to mask horror.

He’s not my monster, we affirm

and form uneasy alliances,

refusing to glance behind us

at the shadows lurking.

And then this sonorous voice

reaches our eager ears,

a mischievous grin,

pink glasses, musical parody

masterpiece jabs

at the darkness too huge

to ignore or banish.  So we call

them out, laughing all the way,

singing satiric choruses

with glee, skewering with song-

flames, well-done, it’s all a play

on words, and we are

the poets, the rhymers,

pacing prompted daily

to wake up our friends,

our families, our slumbering

selves, quivering in the nightmare

that seems to smother our flames.

Wake up, wake up,

the fire’s burning now

it’s time to sing.


Inspired by: Sonorous, Alliance, Eager, True, Adopt

and by the recent work of Randy Stewart Rainbow, especially his remake of Camelot.

The Magnetism to Light

That tumultuous energy rises up

and naptime is over.

He’s wide awake and oh,

such passionate overwhelming

joy and utter despair.

His older brothers are exhausted

chasing the escapee

— he’s fast and committed,

there’s no hesitation to meet

this wild and wonderful world.

Inspired, I feel the tug

an invisible cable connecting

our resplendent hearts.

The enthralling blaze

burns away time,

surmounts the past

and flings us into the present.

And we’re running

with no care for the sudden

scraped contact with sidewalks,

the reddening flesh that surely

will bleed but now

we pick ourselves up

again and embrace

this vital force,

the life that wants to live

bursting through our cells

calling, come on, Bibi, let’s go!

And I’m here, my darling,

filled with gratitude and awe

by your two-year-old healing prowess.


 Inspired by Cable, Resplendent, Enthralling, Surmount