The Feed

By M.L. Smoker M.L. Smoker
Several of my cousins lean up against the house, taking long drags
from the pack of Marlboros we share. We have always been this way
—addicted and generous. A pow wow tape plays from inside the open
garage where two old uncles are thinking to themselves in the safety
of its shadows. Our aunties are in the kitchen, preparing the boiled meat
and chokecherry soup and laughing about old jokes they still hang onto
because these things are a matter of survival. Outside, we ask about
who was driving around with who last night, where so-and-so got beat
up, whose girlfriend left him for someone else. (But she’ll go back to
him, we all think to ourselves.) Aunties carry the full pots and pans to the
picnic table, an uncle prays over our food in Assiniboine. We all want to
forget that we don’t understand this language, we spend lots of time
trying to forget in different ways. No one notices that the wild turnips
are still simmering in a pot on the stove.

M. L. Smoker, “The Feed” from Another Attempt at Rescue. Copyright © 2005 by M. L. Smoker. Reprinted by permission of Hanging Loose Press.

Source: Another Attempt at Rescue (Hanging Loose Press, 2005)

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Poet M.L. Smoker

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

Biography

A member of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes, poet M.L. Smoker earned a BA at Pepperdine University and an MFA at the University of Montana, where she received the Richard Hugo Memorial Scholarship. Smoker also studied at UCLA, where she received the Arianna and Hannah Yellow Thunder Scholarship, and the University of Colorado, where she was a Battrick Fellow.
 
Influenced by John Steinbeck, James Welch, and Philip Levine, . . .

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Poems by M.L. Smoker

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SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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