indigenous

indigenous comp

I am nowhere indigenous.  Born in the midwestern United States, I have moved through many other regions.  My genetics are blended and confused, my blood relations scattered.  Even within the city I have called home for 45 years I belong to no single neighborhood.  No land or culture claims me as their own.

accumulating
roots of tangled earth and air
unfixed, wandering—

I occupy each season
refilled, resampled, revived

indigenous close up s

For Frank’s haibun prompt at dVerse, considering our relationship to the word indigenous, as we celebrate both Columbus Day and the native peoples who inhabited this land long before Columbus discovered it.

28 thoughts on “indigenous

    1. I don’t know why people cling to their genetic identities, as if they and their cultures were some pure thing that hasn’t both borrowed or stolen from other living things, not just human, forever. And vice versa of course. I think it’s more sad to consider yourself as something that exists outside of the rest of the world. Which means of course fighting not to be excluded or trampled on because of those attitudes too.

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      1. It means nothing anyway. I am ‘Irish’ on both sides with no other input, but each generation becomes more homogenised. Hair colour is changing, from black or red to mid-brown, and there are few of us with bright blue eyes any more. Every high street has the same multinational stores, Amazon delivers everywhere, people dress the same and aspire to the same notions of comfort. When cultures become the same, what does ethnic difference matter?

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    1. It’s a good question. Is it first come first served? Everyone came from somewhere else originally, leading back to the same source. I know I dont feel like any place is “mine” partly because I’ve moved around so much. And I have no ethnic identity because my ancestors came from many different places. So what does that make me in a world where we are expected to choose a tribe?

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    1. Thanks Jill. My immediate family seems to have always been on the move, but in fact most people don’t go far. My daughters have already gravitated back to NYC, and will stay if they can. And that’s true of the children of most of my friends, even though most of us grew up in other places.

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