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Almost Ashore

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winter sea
over my shoes
shadows
and bright
round stones
at san gregorio

every wave
turns a season
forests adrift
empty shells
memory of fire
so faraway
in the mountains
and canyons

silent pools
raise my faces
by early tide
slight my hand
shoulders
almost ashore

light breaks
over the plovers
certain steps
my traces
blood, bone, stone
turn natural
and heavy waves
rush the sand


Gerald Vizenor, “Almost Ashore” from Almost Ashore. Copyright © 2006 by Gerald Vizenor. Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.
Source: Almost Ashore (Salt Publishing, 2006)
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Almost Ashore

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  • Gerald Vizenor is of Anishinabe heritage and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. Vizenor was born in Minnesota, but before he turned two years old his father was murdered. He was subsequently raised by his Swedish American mother, Anishinabe grandmother, and extended family in Minneapolis and on the White Earth Reservation.
     
    The author of more than 20 books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Vizenor attended college on the GI Bill after serving in the armed forces for three years, mostly in Japan. He studied at New York University and did postgraduate work at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota. From 1964 to 1968 he directed the American Indian Employment and Guidance Center in Minneapolis. He was also a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune, where he investigated the actions of American Indian activists.
     
    Vizenor’s poetry collections include The Old Park Sleeper...

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