THE WORLD AS WE KNEW IT IS BROKEN
Their waters now unlivable, pilot whales beach themselves in
great numbers along the eastern shores—
they will return to live on the land
as they did in the old times.
Winter never came to New England,
we had to suck the sap
from maple trees
A polar bears dies from lack of ice,
then lack of food.
Glaciers shrink, ocean waters warm. We
have melted the poles of the planet.
In winter off Nantucket Island
bottle-nosed dolphins circle the harbor
instead of swimming the deep waters to migrate south.
An old woman stands on the shore
and watches, then tells no one:
“They have come for me.”
Without looking back,
she walks into the frigid water.
In the mountains pines and aspens
are heaving great sighs.
I walk and listen to tall trees.
My sparrow fingers collect their seeds in
case they too will
The antelope are strange people…They are beautiful to look at, and yet they are tricky. We do not trust them. They appear and disappear; they are like shadows on the plains. Because of their great beauty, young men sometimes follow antelope and are lost forever. Even if those foolish ones find themselves and return, they are never right again in their heads.- Pretty Shield Medicine Woman of the Crows
At dusk along highway 16
towards the pueblo of Cochiti
a small herd of antelope grazes
in the flatlands
beside the road.
They have come down from the mountains
as if to allow us to see them
so we can know their wildness,
so we might remember
the miracle of fresh grass
in a desert field
after a winter of good snow.
Darkness descends. The herd vanishes.
I try to follow them but they are too fast.
In the village cedar and pinon smoke rises then settles in the old
An old woman, her hair hangs braided to her waist, invites me to
visit in her small adobe home.
We sit by her fire and talk. Her face is cut deep with wrinkles and her
dark eyes shine.
She smiles when she hears the antelope have returned.
“I have something,” she tells me. “A recipe for antelope stew. This is medicine. Even when we butcher them, there is a sweetness that comes out of them and fills the air.”
THE STORM LEFT NO FLOWERS
The earth shakes. How many times can I say I love you? I
pull on a pair of wool socks, slide under the covers.
Cat gently pushes into my thigh.
TV News reports massive earthquake in Mexico, Popo erupts.
Remnants of an ancient Aztec temple Ehecatl rise up.
under a shopping mall in Mexico city. Popo erupts.
The curandera tells me the earth’s umbilical cord is
going back to the moon.
“Align yourself with the good winds.”
Puerto Rico O! Puerto Rico,
Maria has ravaged you.
Three million without food and water. Powerless.
A dead cow hangs from the top of a broken telephone pole,
placed there by the winds.
Bees are dying. They have no food.
The storm left no flowers.
I tell you for the thousandth time “I love you.”
This is not the end, not yet.
-from The Storm Left no Flowers (Finishing Line Press 2018), selected by Spring 2022 Guest Editor, CMarie Fuhrman
Barbara Robidoux is a Cherokee (tsalagi), Italian, and Scottish writer. She has worked as a fish cutter, waitress, cook, truck farmer, and teacher. She was born and raised on the east coast. She lived in rural Maine and Provincetown, MA before moving to Santa Fe 17 years ago. Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies nationwide. She has published two full length books of poetry, Waiting for Rain and The Storm Left No Flowers, a chapbook, Stirring Sorrow Into Soup (Floodgate Poetry Series Volume 7) and a collection of short stories, Sweetgrass Burning: Stories From The Rez. She has been awarded a NM Discovery Award and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA.