To The Indigenous Woman, Poem by 1491s

To the Indigenous woman
I’m sorry we have not fought harder for you

I am the dysfunctional man,
I know a women’s place better than I know my own. 
And now here I am holding her neck between my hands
like she holds my heart between hers
I will borrow your forgiveness like I always have,
and you will be there for me like you always are

Ask her, and she will tell you
I stole her tongue
Replaced it with guilt
Saddled it with blame
and rode off on it like a horse

Choose your words like chess pieces
burn your hopes like cedar
pull that smoke over you like a blanket
put a cigarette out on you cause I can

Pray that someone hears you
Hold tight to the last thing anyone could take from you
clutch it and pretend it’s still there
even after its gone

This path of least resistance,
the intersection of law and people

To doctors without clues
for say nothing neighbors
do nothing attorneys
and quiet parents with no memories:

Thank you.
You make all of this possible.
We couldn’t fail these women without your help.

For the woman and her baby left for dead by the police in her home,
while they gave a ride to her attacker back to his house
To the girlfriend punched in her pregnant stomach
To the wife who took the beatings so her kids wouldn’t have to
To the daughter who found a man as abusive as her dad
To the coed who will never ever go to the nine again
To the restraining order as strong as the paper its made from
To the shelter with not enough beds

I give 1000 sweats for rape victims
1000 doctorings for husbands
1000 prayer ties for courage
1000 meetings for silence
1000 songs for patience
1000 fires… for enough light…
to fill a room ….to reflect off a mirror the size of the moon
just so we can see ourselves for what we are.

Complicit.

So I dare you to protect them Mr. President
I dare you to make laws for them Senator and Representatives
I dare you try to stop me Tribal Leader
I dare you to go look for me Police officer

For every 1000 Native women in your district,
330 of them will be sexually assaulted
88% of the perpetrators will be non‐Native.

Every piece of legislation needs a champion.
Not all champions are leaders.
Not all leaders are men.
Just like how not all kisses are wanted
Not all laws are consensual
They trespass her body like they trespass this land
In the corner of a HUD home
In the back seat of an old car
In a court room
In every hall of every government

We fail them

The terrorist threat is in the same house
in the same car
goes to the same school
works at the same job
and a threat 10 times more likely to murder her than anyone else.

This war is in the home
Living room battle grounds
bathroom infirmaries
backseat trenches
fists like tanks
sex like a war trophy
under treaties of silence
she whispered to me
Please
Please stop
I am your wife
I am your sister
I am your mother
I am your daughter

You are supposed to protect me
You are supposed to be a warrior
Protect me from you,
from him,
from all of them.

Tell me you have daughters
Tell me you don’t want this for them
Tell me you won’t joke about this with your friends
Tell me you won’t forget we talked
Tell me you will do something

Do something.

Poem written, edited and directed by Thomas Ryan Red Corn. The description in the video adds: “Native women are murdered at 10 times the national rate; 1 out 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime, and 3 out of 5 physically assaulted. Even worse, 88% of the perpetrators are non-Indian and cannot be prosecuted by tribal governments.” More at www.indianlaw.org

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    Please please PLEASE watch & re-blog!!!!! For all women everywhere whose voices deserve to be heard.
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