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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 4: I am (not) nature

Susu Jeffrey

Susu Jeffrey
I Call the Hill
An earth breast
in the west
where the year stretches
from aurora borealis
to midsummer,
each sunset an Appaloosa
prances the fire
That hill I inherited
after years of looking:
three trees, a horse
the wind.
I rediscover
the hill
holds time.
I plant trees
on a rectangle
in a city.
On paper, I own
this land.
This land owns me.
But the hill
I own like my skin,
my story.
The land is her own.
Susu Jeffrey grew up on mashed potatoes and politics. During her roots period she published Songs of the Gypsy Women and Sampson out of her Roma ancestry. Gonzo Prayers and Everything I Told You Before Was A Lie But This Is The Truth followed with the years of teaching, writing poetry and reporting. She was associated with the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for the Campaign to Ban Landmines by virtue of getting out to vigil in front of a suburban arms corporate headquarters by 7 am, every Wednesday for 15 years regardless of weather or holidays. In 2001 she founded Friends of Coldwater to preserve and protect the last major natural spring in Minneapolis, now recognized by the state as a Dakota Tribal Sacred Site.


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