Voices

So the other day on the news I heard this story about another missing woman with red skin
No.
I didn’t.
The other day on the news …
– The other day on social media, another face flashed across my screen
A woman with eyes as deep as the universe
Made from stardust
Another woman disappeared
Vanished
Hidden into generations of blankets ridden with smallpox
And Reservation boundaries that end
Where the FBI gets to yell stop
And reserves the right to …
– And the reserves cry it ends here
While America sings about Canada
Land of the free and home of the equal.

The other day on the news I heard …
No.
I didn’t.
The other day on social media I almost scrolled past her
The link wasn’t all that well put together and all I saw at first was a URL
That became a name that became a face that became a human being
Another woman
Missing
And while black men can’t walk the streets of the country their ancestors built
And Asian mothers hide their daughters before they become sex toys
And South American children stand at the border of a desert, barefoot and bleeding and are called terrorists
Another Indian woman went missing
Swallowed up in silence
While hipster boys bought rainbow headdresses at American Apparel
And a company in Colorado offered weekends in tipis starting at $500 a night and none of the money going back to look
For this Indian woman who went missing.

The other day I heard on the news
I heard a story of a people
So down and out
Their children walking barefoot in snow
Mothers weeping as unemployed Fathers beat them
Brothers on drugs
Pregnant sisters
Rape
Diabetes
Disease
Death
There is no hope, they said.
Never once saying
The ancestors of the voices of the narrators did it
Never once showing
The dances
The drums
The schools rebuilt by hardened hands
Children learning their languages at Grandmother’s knee
They were violent, it was said
Fought back against a people
Who killed to civilize.
Pity them, they said.
Never once showing
Boys becoming men
Girls learning to lead
Not bothering to show
The Indian Women who go missing.

Because while streets erupt in protest
Marching back against oppressors who are there to kill
No one covers
The Indian Women who go missing.

Silent they go
One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Ten
Twenty
Forty
Slipping into the night
Wrapped in blankets
That look like shadow

And the FBI shoots when we stand too close
Don’t leave the reservation they say
We reserve the right to stop you they say
But our women have gone missing
What women, they say?

So they other day on the news I heard this story …
No. I didn’t.
The other day on social media I saw a tag.
A hashtag.
Simple. Activism at the most basic.
A way to catch attention
Slactivism, they say.
Hacktivism, they say.
People who do that don’t really care, they say.
They aren’t getting out
Off their couches
No.
They’re making sure people hear
People know
They’re covering
The Indian Women
Who go missing.

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