This morning, before my drawing class, Andrea rang me and asked if I could bring in a poem for her to read during our warm-up exercise.  I’ve very recently discovered Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw poet & writer.  I actually have about eight of her books due at any minute in the post.  But not today.  I did a quick Google search for ‘Linda Hogan poems’.  The first one I came to, I downloaded, printed off and took to my drawing class.

tear in fabric


It was the time before
I was born.
I was thin.
I was hungry.
I was only a restlessness
inside a woman’s body.

Above us, lightning split open the sky.
Below us, wagon wheels cut land in two.
Around us were the soldiers,
young and afraid,
who did not trust us
with scissors or knives
but with needles.

Tear dresses they were called
because settler cotton was torn
in straight lines
like the roads we had to follow
to Oklahoma.

But when the cloth was torn,
it was like tears,
impossible to hold back,
and so they were called
by this other name,
for our weeping.

I remember the women.
Tonight they walk
out from the shadows
with black dogs,
children, the dark heavy horses,
and worn-out men.

They walk inside me.
This blood
is a map of the road between us.
I am why they survived.
The world behind them did not close.
The world before them is still open.
All around me are my ancestors,
my unborn children.
I am the tear between them
and both sides live.

–  Linda Hogan (Chickasaw)

Image ::  Still from a video tutorial: Tearing cloth in 3ds max 2011 (no audio)


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