Jun 30, 2014

Black Bear Holds a Hole In His Paws: Poems & Letter,s by Robert Lee

Are you frickin' kidding me?
Yes, Jada, woman, sister, yes
I am. Smile, Jada, there is more
to laugh at than you know.

In Haida, you pronounce the J.
Jada. It means woman. It says
sister, and in this matriarchal culture
gone to hell in a hand basket or a highbrow
hat that one woman remembers how to weave,
it is one hell of a handle, hell
for a fifteen year old to handle. Jada
who in the hell were they frickin kidding
when they named you?

Once, you might be married--
prinicpal princess to a powerful chieftain
inciting your tribe to avenge their honor
against Tlingits or white assholes
instead of hanging with friends
in this disintegrating town of mud puddles,
raindrops and beer,

and I'm not frickin' kidding.


Robert Lee, author

Robert Lee is the author of the epistolary novel, Guiding Elliott, and he teaches poetry for the Missoula Writing Collaborative in Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. He also tutors writing at the University of Montana an spent September 2012 as Writer in Residence for the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. In the fall of 2008, Robert Lee was in residency in Hydaburg, a small Haida Indian Village on the Prince of Whales Island.