Walking the Cherokee Trail

by Parthenia M. Hicks Issue: Fall 2018 Special Issue on Justice
For Nanny
Chincoteague pony dreaming in native
sidles along a freeway         balcony of the rez
big green sofas         trailers setting in satisfaction
like cats tucked under

deer Beauty Walkers                    breathing in fumes
vague little stamps
like sullen     like drums            like seizures

fetal       alcohol    syndrome

woods    Standing People
crowd a disappearing river
beer cans      floating straws
shields built from     poisoned     rivers
this land under         trash
and   fossilized debris

cars and dead trucks              inanimate objects
metallic fruit of the land
I will bury my horse
I will bury my car
I will bury my truck

beside grandfather grandmother
under sun and moon kin next to kin
under Pleiades on top of crystals
Tsalagi peoples entwined
held by the roots of dogwood
memorized, told by heart

coyote teeth              traitors          trading powdered milk
bloody rain on the trail
little green shy drops
little buttered fry breads
little beaded mocs
succotash, hominy, bacon fat
seven, seventy, seven hundred
a million gleaming locks

leathered and braided, dreaming in native
beaded tracks
to the poor house     jail house             rehab                    Rock

breathing      trails    of


Parthenia M. Hicks

Parthenia M. Hicks, Poet Laureate Emerita, is the recipient of the Silicon Valley Arts Fellowship for Literature; the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Prize; the Villa Montalvo Poetry Prize, and the Dragonfly Press Award. Her work has been featured in The Red Wheelbarrow; Local Habitations, an Anthology of Five Bay Area Poets Laureate; Activate! A chapbook to Incite; Dragonfly Press; spring mother tongue, Caesura; and After(Life), Poems and Stories of the Dead. She is the editor of Song of Los Gatos, a project she launched during her Laureate tenure. As a freelance editor, she gets to experience the joy of helping to birth manuscripts for new and experienced writers and poets. She teaches privately in Northern California where she lives with her phenomenally poetic cats, Shiloh and Citrine.