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Native I am, Cocopa (v3)

I am a mother, proud. My native numbers are few. In my heart digs many memories forty-one relatives left in 1937.

Native I am, Cocopa is a poem written by Michael Lee Johnson and shared with The Ugly Writers under the theme Treasures That We Keep for the month of May.

 

Native I Am, Cocopa (V3)

 

 

Now once-great events fading
into seamless history,
I am a mother, proud.
My native numbers are few.
In my heart digs many memories
forty-one relatives left in 1937.
Decay is all left of their bones, memories.
I pinch my dark skin.
I dig earthworms
farm dirt from my fingertips
grab native
Baja and Southwestern California,
its soil and sand wedged between my spaced teeth.
I see the dancing prayers of many gods.
I am Cocopa, a remnant of the Yuman family.
I extend my mouth into forest fires
Colorado rivers, trout-filled mountain streams.
I survive on corn, melons, and
pumpkins, mesquite beans.
I still, dance in grass skirts
drink a hint of red Sonora wine.

I am a mother, proud.
I am parchment from animal earth.

 

 

Note:

This is the story poem of the Cocopah Indian tribe and their journey over the years. The River People descended from the greater Yuman-speaking area, which occupied lands along the Colorado River. The Cocopah Indian tribe had no written language. However, historical records have been passed on orally and by outside visitors. Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era.

 

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Michael Lee Johnson
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 2,013 new publications, and his poems have appeared in 40 countries, he edits, publishes ten poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.
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One comment

  1. I am moved ,touched and I don’t know what to say after reading the poem. Native American culture is always close to my heart. Especially the Hopi believe of the butterfly.
    Thank you so much for sharing the journey .
    Best regards

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