We Were the Many

Word Count: 438

by Linda Everett Bloom
Monthly Exclusives

We were the people of long ago.
We are the water, colored from
            the blue green clay soil that
ran swiftly through the rivers and creeks.

We are the cleansing rains that nurture
            earth, falling from the clouds.
We are lightning
            that flashes brightly through the sky.

We are the gentle breeze of many winds
            releasing the ceremonial healing of sage and sweetgrass.
We are the sound of life-sustaining bison
            thundering across the prairies.

We are the blood roots, the ginseng, the wild leeks
            that bloom on the springtime forest floor.
We are the bending willows and the sturdy oaks
            that stand through the storms of time.

We are the ancestors of the Native Nation.
                        We were the Many.


“I grew up on a small horse farm in southern Minnesota. I played in Cherry Creek which ran through our farm on its way to the Minnesota River. Buggy rides, sleigh rides, church on Sunday, piano lessons on Thursday night (my brother included), and meals eaten together as a family at the end of the day.”


Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW) fosters literary community and a devotion to art inside Minnesota correctional facilities through high-quality creative writing classes and related programming. During incarceration and throughout reentry, they empower writers, challenge stereotypes about the incarcerated population, and promote a vision of rehabilitation and restorative justice through art. They also seek to bridge the divide between literary communities inside and outside of prison by creating platforms for their students’ work. Read more about and donate to MPWW here.

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