I Am From

Ts’os by Juniper Anderson of the Institute of American Indian Arts

I am from pillow,
From Bashas water and lice killing shampoo.

I am from the dancing red wall valley as the sun moves rocks to rest.
Humorous, mellow, the bird echoes of beauty the valley holds, where colors share their endowing voices everywhere.

I am from red dirt that gets everywhere and marks stains of home, from time immemorial.

I am from long drives home sharing goods and bads, as the bumpy dirt roads soothe our tears of both laughter and fears, and strong
minded Diné women, with even stronger hearts made to persevere.

From the head of the household, Dr. Victoria Yazzie, shima.
I am from the start something you finish it and to look around, be aware, listen, hear, above, below, and all around before you say there’s
nothing there.

From go outside and the bogeyman will get you.
I am from my way of life, to be in harmony, balance, to live the hozho way of life.

I am from the best fair in the Navajo Nation (Tuba City babies roar). The two clans that traveled far away into cane valley for protection,
stew made with love and blood-drops from slivers when someone isn’t a good in-law.

From the sister I slept with for fifteen years, cried for the first night I stayed in my college dorm.
The watering the horses and feeding the animals with my little sister, racing her home as shima calls dinner is hot and ready.

The sweet smell of logs pressed against my face, while I rest my head, the livelihood of my family, my home dances as I lay in bed.
I am from pillow, where the memories of home live and where I go to never forget.

Dayhenoa Yazzie is a student at Diné College and is the AIHEC slam poet laureate

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