ancestry

Photo by British Library on Unsplash

“What has remained unacknowledged is that, like the slave trade and the extermination of the indigenous populations of the ‘New World,’ the witch hunt stands at a crossroad of a cluster of social processes that paved the way for the rise of the modern capitalist world.” — Silvia Federici, “Wiches, Witch-Hunting, and Women”

because i am reeling in the bright of these revelations

because i keep getting the same headache

because children’s names are listed in the wills of my ancestors

because receipts really can be followed all the way back

because inherited property

because overseers are seen as low-class, incompetent, cruel, good for nothin’s

because my 3rd great grandfather was one

because forced submission

because spectacular violence tempered by profit motive

because the women have so few records to flesh out their lives

because the men do: all military and ownership

because i have this in my blood

because the burning times

because removal

because lost cause

because Daunte Wright

because countless others

because none of this is surprising

because all of it continues to leave me winded

because my body is a plane of resistance

because i still want to know my people

because i would never have lived without them

because i know i can never be at peace without doing this work

because tomorrow awaits with fresh sorrows

because you have to break your heart to see all this

because i want to be free

and i want to see you free with me

This piece is one in a series, Climacteric: On the Turning Point, a poetic collaboration for National Poetry Writing Month (#NaPoWriMo) by Samantha Wallen and Michelle Puckett. To read the previous poem in the series, click here. To read the next poem in the series, click here.

Michelle Puckett, MFA is a poet, doula, permaculturalist, coach and Co-Founder of Creating Freedom Movements, a social justice school for activists. All of her work aims to nourish the sacred and make it plain in every day life.

poet. doula. queer. seed-grower. love-maker. creatrix-worshipper. ancestor-reverent {r}evolutionary.

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