Martin Luther King, Jr. Night

Especially silent night on city South Side
Could be any northern city in any anonymous dark

Unless they must trudge out
City dwellers burrowed far inside walls

Weather calls for snow and ice
Breeze jangles glass wind chimes

Behind lace curtains blinds shut
On lap Persian cat she and Korean lover got

Purrs  slant of half-closed eyes
Glow of Silk Road Dreamtime

Remembering tales of women who lost
Their one true love

Wandering by midnight seas
Turning to stone and gorse on cliffs and heaths

Despite trailing skirt   tangled hair
She doesn’t ramble except in heather heart

No train whistle keens up from river valley
Invisibly its old city shimmers   lost galaxy

Along ice-jammed river
Snow shrouded earth  buried memories

She and lover winging snow angels
Beneath violet sky   astral snowfall

She thinks of storm approaching
Outside the blinds   of outsiders like her

And January-born King   skin deep night
Voice     whirlwind of crystals

Dream   blaze on hope’s mountaintop
All Earth’s snow angels rising up

Photography © Susan Deer Cloud

Photography © Susan Deer Cloud

Susan Deer Cloud is a Catskill Mountain Indian. An alumna of Binghamton University and Goddard College, she has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, New York State Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, and an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. Her most recent book is Fox Mountain from FootHills Publishing. Her new collection, Hunger Moon, is forthcoming. The photos of the truck with the confederate flag were taken by Susan during Christmastime. “I would like to see every hater of those with darker skins,” she writes, “be required to do DNA testing so they could see who their first mother was and where she lived.”