by Wendy Babiak
The spicebush and Korean lilac have been done doling out their golden coins. Now in the wind sugar maple and box alder leaves rain down relentless as the bombs butchering babies in Gaza. I sit here heartbroken and safe upstairs in my yellow chair. Where does a person go with no homeland? The dispossessed of Turtle Island did not disappear except in the settler imagination. Mohicans, even, are still here. Palestine and the Palestinian people pre-existed the concept of the nation state…and innit time that idea died, that social construct was deconstructed? Dang, but it’s so last millenia. We can see the planet from space–your borders are imaginary, oh bonehead nationalist (of whatever nation). I wonder if the astronauts flinch, up in the International Space Station, every time they see a bomb flash, left wondering how many more children’s bodies now bleed, broken in the rubble. (If they let the tears fall, will they get in trouble?) Oh, let us all understand ourselves and each other as kin, with one race, the human one, and discover our more-than-human kin’s wisdom. Look how cardinal flower and sweetgrass share space in my garden, how the mourning dove cleans the ground, fed by the mess made from above them by goldfinches and chickadees searching for their favorites in the mixed seed. Let us bow to how bison circle when the wolf pack comes, the young and other vulnerable protected in the middle. Baldwin said: The children are always ours, every single one of them, all over the globe; and I am beginning to suspect that whoever is incapable of recognizing this may be incapable of morality. Outside, the bare trees expose a dismal sky; Grandmother cedar thrashes in the wind. In my heart I can a hear the soul of the planet groan. Someone needs to give Israel a heart on loan. Wendy Babiak identifies as two-spirit and uses the pronoun We: We sent CONSPIRACY OF LEAVES out into the world over ten years ago in the hopes that it might spur humans to recognize each other. We wanted to help humanity see the sacred personhood of trees, but how could it, when it doesn’t even know its own soul? And now Israel lays another stepping stone on the path that began in the Stone Age when men first turned their clubs and spears on each other. We watch heartbroken from the safety of our home in upstate NY while yet another genocide takes place and our ancestors who endured and survived their own demand we speak. We love several Jewish people and we curse Netanyahu and his cohort for making them less safe.