For the Good of a People

CMarie Fuhrman
they made the first cut
to the cervix, though the knife enters
through her abdomen, legs spread and naked

steel table, experimental procedure, kill the womb and
save the tax payers from one little two little three little

children, whose never to be
mother is told her poverty is to blame for the _
that lay beside her in a cold pan. "We'll stitch you up

with gov't pens that write scars across your parchment belly
demarcations of land split open like so much tilled soil--

doesn't she look life like! Land O' Lakes! Pocahontas
put your dress back on and dance, dance for us

empty uterus jingling against sad ribs. And where are your men?
Bring us the tall pine, our knives want to know him, too!

A cigar for the baby not born, tomahawk chop to the
vascular river of life, oh Kaw Liga you poor old wooden
head, redskin, warrior, don't you know this is how we honor you!"

Tanned skins drape over bones of men drawn to look
like the billboard of tears that ran down that faux face. Oh
Wahoo can you forgive us our sins as we try and try

to prosper in this culture of consumerism where even our bodies
are laid on tables like so much red meat and in the arms
where mothers held ghost babies to dry breast will you lay

one more time and suckle as we rock you to sleep with our
death song?

CMarie Fuhrman is the author of Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate 2020) and co-editor of Native Voices (Tupelo 2019). She has published poetry and nonfiction in multiple journals including Emergence Magazine, Yellow Medicine Review, Cutthroat a Journal of the Arts, Whitefish Review, Broadsided Press, Taos International Journal of Poetry and Art, as well as several anthologies. CMarie is a regular columnist for the Inlander, and an editorial team member for Broadsided Press and nonfiction editor for High Desert Journal. She resides in the mountains of West Central Idaho.