|Chief Howilhkat, Freda Huson, stands in ceremony while police arrive to enforce Coastal GasLink’s injunction at Unist’ot’en Healing Centre near Houston, B.C. on Monday, February 10, 2020. Source: The Narwhal|
Standing in my backyard, I wonder what I’d do if an oil company
pushed a pipeline through it. I picture the garage demolished, imagine
leaking and reeking of oil far from where it’s needed, and imagine
awaiting pipes of potable water here in my outback, mine, but, no, not
in the way I must pay to claim it. I can’t hear the drums but wait for them.
Standing in my backyard, I wonder how I can sink into this acre
and become indigenous enough to belong to the earth, to hear her
heart drumming, her heart beat right in mine. What comes first, hearing it or knowing it?
I read news of people standing up across Canada against police
trespassing and oil lines claiming pipes’ right of way. Thousands stand. I stand here.
I can’t hear the drums but wait for them. No one can see me stand. No one sees
how I strain to hear, how I see what’s lost unless I write. No one knows this
is not mine, this land, nor is theirs theirs but it’s all of our loss, polluted,
bit by bit taken from our children whose bloodlines diminish as we sit,
as we move over and stay silent. I must hear the drums speak from my hands.
for earthweal weekly challenge:
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© 2020 Susan L. Chast