Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Poems: "Morning Ghetto Oakland Pow Wow" -- by Luke Warm Water

Parking street, doors locked
double check locks
my office job is in the 'hood
walking a couple of blocks into work
new SUV tricked drives by
shine chrome rimmed
glides into a red light stop
Black power bass speakers thumping
rolling a rhythmic drum beat
felt through flesh
hot weather already Paleteros (Popsicle)
push cart Mexicano vendor
row of bells on the handle
ringing in my ear jingling
as he strolls through the intersection
of Fruitvale Ave. & International Blvd.

Combination of thumping bass
and ringing bells
bring me back to a memory
inhale deep the inner city
my brain rewinds images of
Pahin sinte Wacipip (Porcupine Pow Wow)
back in the day almost lost
I can still recall the images
of a young Pine Ridge woman
jingle dress dancer
her dance is healing
with raised hand eagle feather fan
on the honor beats
of a thunderous Lakota drum

The SUV and vendor sounds disappear with distance
as the stoplight changes color
I continue walking toward work
in a city of concrete and hope.


Luke Warm Water is a member of the Lakota Tribe of American Indians, a self-taught poet born in Rapid City, South Dakota, and raised in an urban Indian neighborhood. "Morning Ghetto Oakland Pow Wow" was published in his collection titled City Tree of Concrete & Hope.

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