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The Mom Egg Vol. 8 2010 “Lessons” Selections

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10 ME8The Mom Egg Vol. 8 2010 “Lessons” Selections


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(written on Qualla Boundary; for C.M.)
Kimberly L. Becker

Little by little
we are reclaiming the words
Just as the land was once large,
so, too, our voice
Some words lost on the Trail
have been found
They lived hidden in baskets,
in pockets, in the very tassels of corn
(Selu, Selu)
Now the words live again
See? When I say nogwo it is now,
both the now of then and the now
of not yet
The words work secret medicine
and strong, forming us
from the inside out
Language is our Magic Lake–
we walk in limping with loss
and emerge wholly ourselves
When Cecilia speaks
she bears with her
the future of these sounds
Listen: her voice is soft, but sure


Ana C. H. Silva

under a yellow crayon sun—
between trees of green scalloping on tall brown trunks—
her daughter: a tiny figure on spiky grass
contextualized, she said, within a greater world
understanding you are not the center
the other girls balloon from the belly of their page.
round cheeks press the rectangle, splurge off the edge
triangle skirts let their corners drip
my mother found them fat, entitled
the sun does not figure here
neither do the trees


Drawing by Ellen Rix






Ritual: The Second Day is Monday
E.J. Antonio

for a mother alone, the kiss of dusk begins a second shift. haul flour not water. bake bread and biscuits for the week. her words fill the empty spaces between the lines of recipe. learn to pay them no mind, chile. we gotta get along the best we can. between syllables, Joshua sifts flour, holds the red knob of the gray metal sifter. the only thing of substance he can hold onto in the kitchen. flour disappears in a puff; reappears in his hair, on face, hands, floor, table. never in the bowl. He sees her arms swollen from hanging the day’s wet sheets. he senses her ache. he volunteers to knead dough, watches it rise twice, the way she does morning and night. tomorrow they will laugh when her homemade peach preserves slide through the holes of dough not beaten enough. still rises up, joins forces, fights back as an army. this son, this mother, they talk survival in between the lines of a town’s recipe for know-your-place. she always tells him, remember, the foxes is always schemin to bring ya down. but ya got to rise, son, like yeast – rise.

Kelli Stevens Kane

the wind blew my house down
so I moved into a sailboat
the wind messed my hair up
so I cut it all off
the wind made my eyes water
so I took up a collection for the sea
the wind threw the clouds out
so I threw wet cotton balls on my ceiling
the wind raised my skirt up
so I mooned it and got arrested
there was no wind in jail


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