What Up? by Jeremy Blackwater

What up? By Jeremy Blackwater


“What up, Dude?”

As a blanket man blinks.

He sits up slowly

As though he’s trying to think.


I squat by his side

Handing over a candy bar

He holds it in his hand

Staring away far.


“Why you stop?”

He manages to say.

“Most just shout

‘Get out of my way.’”


“You some kind of angel?

Or want something from me?”

I shake my head

Lean against a tree.


“We are all related,”

Sorting words through my head,

“No one should be left out,

Everyone should be fed.”


My grandmother tells me this:

“Respect everyone you meet,

Be a solid Native,

Stand strong on your feet.”


“God bless you,” he says

And waves as I go.

I didn’t do enough,

Not much to show.


My strength comes from stories,

And grandmothers and trees

I have to grow deeper

To notice and see.


There are many windows

To look all around.

To view from inside

From sky to the ground.


Father sky brings rain

And Eagles to fly

The Earth our mother

Watches us with a sigh.


So many treasures

And people to revere

We ignore too much

And shed too few tears.



















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