at Stonewall

by Aricles James

all my ancestors danced at Stonewall

their skin reflecting the shadows within the fire

one Stonewall was surrounded by windowless walls

the other by forests and smoke

all my ancestors hid from the same man

together they danced, hundreds of miles, years apart

forced on journeys down unforged paths

armed with bricks, with drums, with pride --

all my ancestors danced at Stonewall

bodies turned toward the fire

uplifting their voices to the creator

their cries a rising song to keep our stories, us -- alive.

no treaty, no laws, no promises upheld

all my ancestors still dance at Stonewall

in protest, a promise to ourselves

we are unconquered

we are unconquerable

our drums will beat far longer than our hearts do

and our chepota, our children will dance at Stonewall

two spirits live in me

chikasha soya

and i am proud

About the Author

Aricles James.jpg

Aricles James is a gender non-conforming, Native writer and poet from Oklahoma. They love their family and their dogs. They have had various poems, stories and photographs published in various local and nationwide print and digital formats.