UA-13043593-1

I Give You Back

I release you, my beautiful and terriblefear. I release you. You were my beloved and hated twin, but now, I don't know you as myself. I release you with all the pain I would know at the death of my daughters.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the white soldiers who burned down my home, beheaded my children raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.

I give you back to those who stole the food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you hold these scenes in front of me and I was born with eyes that can never close.

I release you, fear, so you can no longer keep me naked and frozen in the winter. or smothered under blankets in the summer.

I release you I release you I release you I release you

I am not afraid to be angry. I am not afraid to rejoice. I am not afraid to be black. I am not afraid to be white. I am not afraid to be hungry. I am not afraid to be full. I am not afraid to be hated. I am not afraid to be loved, to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash. You have gutted me but I gave you the knife. You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear. You are not my shadow any longer. I won't hold you in my hands. You can't live in my eyes, my ears, my voice my belly, or in my heart my heart my heart    my heart

But come here, fear I am alive and you are so afraid. of dying.

Joy Harjo

Bob