Dihzinlik Holden

Shunned History

Tell me, Mother, of your lineage.
Lull me to sleep with the stories your elders sang,
the red-ashen coals still 
glow in the corners of musty villages as they remember how things were.
(Do you remember how it rasps from their throats?)

Tell me of the forbidden shamans
and their witchcraft, how their boney hands cast
shadows and burn precious grass by the murmuring creeks 
of the mithun.
(I hear things too; is our blood
riddled with theirs?)

Take me to the graves, for the dead cry out 
to me.
Headhunters’ spirits mutter in foreign tongues, travel with us 
to howl in my quaking dreams. 
(Won’t you teach me your language?)

Bring me, Mother, deep into the forest where your ancestors roamed.
Where the mountains become valleys 
and the waters run to be carried up for half a day,
jugs upon jugs on sinewy backs and children wishing, desperate for something better.
(But what?)

You clutch your cross and have away with  your history.
Your family lived in a broken city. 
How much do you know?

Dihzinlik Holden is a freshman at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, pursuing a Creative Writing major as an Angie Thomas Scholar. Fed by her travels and mixed heritage, she enjoys converting elements into fantasy fiction and stark observations. When her cynicism hibernates, her hobbies include photography, hiking, and attempting to develop her humanity. “Shunned History” is her first publication.

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