By Efrain Alcaraz

Dear Mother, I understand your pain as my indigenous traditions. In your body rivers of blood, carrying life, splitting your body causing pain, in my vein’s rivers of blood, carrying my indigenous pain.

We were both conquered by humans and we both suffered the consequences, in your part, pierced your body, with powerful drills trying to steal your blood that is killing the world. The black gold.

In my part they only pierced my veins with needles, to steal my indigenous blood, on your surface thousands of indigenous tribes passed by farewells, in search of better lands, in my mind only painful moments passed dissolving farewells.

But you are the best Mother, you burdened me when I was born, you gave me food when I was hungry, and you gave me to drink your blood when I was thirsty.

Thank you, Mother Earth. ■

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Stateville Speaks.