Washing the Blankets

By Kimberly L. Becker

After your fever breaks

and you’re headed back to school,

I strip your bed

to wash the residue of flu.

Pillowcases, sheets, blankets

all heaped into the wash.

I think of other blankets,

other outcomes.

Add bleach to the load.

Aim to get the blankets white, white, white.

First published in Crab Creek Review, Summer 2009
© Kimberly L. Becker

Kimberly L. Becker is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers. Her poetry appears in many journals and anthologies, such as Diverse Voices Quarterly, Future Earth Magazine, I Was Indian (FootHills), Pemmican, Platte Valley Review, and Poets and Artists. Finalist for the DeNovo Award (C&R Press), she received a FY10 grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (MD) to study Cherokee language, history, and culture in Cherokee, NC. Current projects include adapting Cherokee myths into plays for Cherokee Youth in Radio Project at the Cherokee Youth Center in Cherokee, NC.

Words Facing East (WordTech Editions, 2011) is her first book of poetry.
Visit her website at www.kimberlylbecker.com

The Spirits Need Us As Much As We Need Them

By MariJo Moore

And when the last secret of the world is known
life will begin again.

When time has crawled inside itself
and discovered it never existed,

when the river spirits blacken into
the bluing mouth of the sky
then we shall know there is,
there always has been

a sacred place where the spirits gather
to pray for us all.

© 2009 MariJo Moore

MariJo Moore (Cherokee/Irish/Dutch) is the author of a dozen books including Spirit Voices of Bones, Confessions of a Madwoman, Red Woman With Backward Eyes and Other Stories, The Diamond Doorknob, The Boy With A Tree Growing From His Ear and Other Stories, and the editor of four anthologies including Genocide of The Mind: New Native Writings and Eating Fire, Tasting Blood: Breaking the Great Silence of the American Indian Holocaust. The recipient of numerous literary and publishing awards, she resides in the mountains of western North Carolina where she presides over rENEGADE pLANETS pUBLISHING.

  • If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. —Barry Lopez, in Crow and Weasel