Out here on the Mesa

Naomi Feinstein Sandweiss
2020
Finalist
Adult

Out here on the mesa in places like Shiprock and Rattlesnake
far from the beacon-handed mother
the ancient ones didn’t arrive by sea,
welcomed by Liberty’s light.
The people emerged (legend has it)
From the center of the earth to inhabit prairie, mountains and sacred valleys.
Breathing free.
Newcomers followed, bearing gifts of smallpox and bullets, forced marches and reservations.
The People displaced. Dispatched to Eastern schools. Languages and lives destroyed. Families and
traditions dismissed, disassembled.
Out here on the mesa in places like Shiprock and Rattlesnake
The People,
once proud and populous
Deprived of language and land
Reduced to huddled masses,
tired and poor.
Yearning to breathe free.
Out here on the mesa in places like Shiprock and Rattlesnake
The People are restored by their own beacons.
Sacred mountain cathedrals, shining like copper against the sky.

Naomi lives in her hometown of Albuquerque, NM where she leads a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of children with disabilities.  She loves history and writing and is author of Jewish Albuquerque 1860-1960.   

Back