Archive for August 7th, 2019

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

From “Whereas” by Layli Long Soldier

Whereas my eyes land on the statement, “Whereas the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples.” In others, I hate the act

of laughing when hurt injured or in cases of danger. That bitter hiding. My daughter picks up
new habits from friends. She’d been running, tripped, slid on knees and palms onto asphalt.

They carried her into the kitchen, She just fell, she’s bleeding! I winced. Deep red streams
down her arms and legs, trails on white tile. I looked at her face. A smile

quivered her. A laugh, a nervous. Doing as her friends do, she braved new behavior—
I can’t name it but I could spot it. Stop, my girl. If you’re hurting, cry. You must

show your feelings so that others know, so that we can help. Like that. She let it out,
a flood from living room to bathroom. Then a soft water pour I washed

carefully light touch clean cotton to bandage. I faced her I reminded, In our home
in our family we are ourselves, real feelings. You can do this with others, be true.
I sent her

off to the couch with a movie encouraging, Take it easy. Yet I’m serious when I say I laugh
reading the phrase, “opened a new chapter.” I can’t help my body. I shake. The sad

realization that it took this phrase to show. My daughter’s quiver isn’t new—
but a deep practice very old she’s watching me.

From: https://pen.org/from-whereas/

Date: 2013

By: Layli Long Soldier (19??- )