Defenders of the Sacred

Dakota Pipeline Protest

I woke from a dream that I was lying on frozen earth in Standing Rock
My bed was hard, my bones chilled, the fire in the tepee reduced to embers
We had stood together the night before tossed by water hoses pulling
From the sacred Missouri and now slammed against our freezing bodies

There was mayhem and chaos as people ran in panic from the assault
Americans standing on both sides of the battle line cried out to each other
One side tossing tear gas; the other asking, ”Why do you do this to us?”
I awoke from the dream in a warm bed remembering it was Thanksgiving day

I asked myself what there is to celebrate on this day of indulgence honoring
White European immigrants landing on American shores grateful for having
Survived the journey in wooden boats crude and smelling of waste and death
Only to find a paradise and an indigenous people willing to share their bounty

What is there to celebrate as I watch American battle American on this day

Do I celebrate the use of my governments military might against the
Defenders of the Sacred protecting their water and land rights
This Corporate army emboldened by the US governments refusal to
Stop the Dakota Pipeline from desecrating sacred land and burial grounds

Do I celebrate because we no longer understand the sacredness of nature
Our Mother Earth now reduced to bulldozers plowing up Sioux ancestors
Spilling black oil back into water needed to sustain life, to grow food
To wash babies, baptize the faithful, swim on a warm summers day

Everyday I am grateful for what I have been given in this lifetime
Everyday I give thanks for the food on my table and the roof over my head
Everyday I offer my life in service to the Divine that I may give back
Some little bit of peace, comfort, understanding or refuge for one in need

And today I am grateful to the Native American tribes who teach me
The meaning of courage, persistence, determination, and reverence
For Mother Earth the true victim of this outrageous environmental crime
As the rest of the country sits down to overeat food grown in Her soil

I am grateful for these Americans awaking cold and hungry from battle
Not knowing if today is the day they will finally win before the snows come
Or if they will die a cruel death at the hands of the Energy Transfer Partners
Immigrants arrived to these lands taking by force what was never theirs to own

Earth Mother