by Susan Deer Cloud

I am tired of you who condemn me
and others for being mixed blood
as if you were a surreal breed of Aryans
when you are merely Indians with BIA cards
and reservations that started as nothing
more than concentration camps,
those camps Hitler based his on.

I am sick of your colonized crap,
of making excuses for you
self-annointed warriors, male and female,
thinking you can attack an old woman poet
because you believe her too weak, sweet,
or fearful to fight back.  But I don’t
fear cowards who define others

based on blood, skin and hair color,
cards that spell defeat, divide-and conquer
laws used to keep still free Indians
from calling their art Native American
and owning casinos the antithesis
of our old and beautiful ways.
You Indian cops who killed Sitting Bull,

know this elder makes a stand
against betrayers perpetuating
U.S. genocide against US.  As I told
my youngest brother once, I am proud
to be a woman of many lineages,
it shows my people are not racists
when it comes to love, indicates

we embody our Iroquois Tree of Peace
inviting all people in (wink), says
our ancestors ignored the borders of hate.
Oh, sure,î my brother laughed,
it probably just means weíre oversexed.
Mixed blood Indian love medicine,
no wonder the sellouts get mad at sexy me.

Susan Deer Cloud, a mixed lineage mountain Indian from the Catskill Mountains, is an alumna of Binghamton University (B.A. & M.A.) and Goddard College (MFA).  The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, two New York State Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant and a Chenango County Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grant, her poems, stories and essays have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies.  Deer Cloudís most recent books are Hunger Moon, Fox Mountain, Braiding Starlight, Car Stealer and The Last Ceremony, and she is editor of ongoing Native anthology I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool) and the Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry (FootHills Publishing).

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