Escaping the Box

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I’m escaping the box,

gonna fire up the rust bucket,

make for the borders.

I don’t belong to the boys club.

Born outside city limits of white society.

If I find a stone, a soft smooth one

I can almost hit it,

If I throw real hard.


They got patrolmen,

no one knows about ’em but us.

I seen them,

tongues and fists ready,

to put me in my place.

They’ve done it before.

But me,

I don’t stay down so well.

Got my Grandpa’s legs,

strong from walking the trap line.

They built me a glass roof

so I can see the sky over here.

Watch d’em clouds pass me by.

But I can’t touch it,

that’s why they built it.

I think they figure,

my squaw fingers touch it

and the clouds and the sun will fall.

Maybe right ontop of their heads.

I tried once,

leavin’ .

Made it real close too ,

a couple yards from that barbed wire fence.

Gnarled loops of privilege,

cut you real bad.

I had an uncle that died,

trying to cross d’em lines.

Had some cousins,

made it across,

but forget we was over here.

Seen some men try,

they don’t make it

and they end up broken, sad.

Maybe they forgot who they are.

Forgot that while we don’t got the sky,

we get to see the stars real good

outside of city limits.

That’s what matters.

Anyways, them patrolmen

I seen ’em.

They were dressed as cowboys,

but I knew what they were.

They had a coldness in their eyes,

like steel, like a bad mans hunting knife.

They called me names,

Bitch, Slut, Cunt, Whore

a whole bunch of names.

I kept on going straight for the fence,

then they called me more names,

Dirty Squaw, Wagon Burner, Chug, Injun, Good for Nothin’ Indian.

Me, I don’t mind.

Don’t pay them no attention,

I know who I am so I keep walkin’.

They look scared, scared of me.

The chubby one knudges the little one,

they start coming towards me.

Next thing I know I wake up,

back outside of city limits,

under the stars.

This time though,

I’m gonna ride all night.

Make it outta this box.

We never had this box before,

Old Grandma told me so.

Told me we lived out there,

all of it, ours.

When they came, lot’s came.

Like winter.

Old Grandma said they would’ve died

if we didn’t help them.

Show ’em how to live here.

Me, sometimes I think

we should’ve left them to die.

Then they’d have to listen,

real still like,

to the Earth, the forest, the animals, the water

to survive.

They’d learn too, but the right way.

Then maybe they wouldn’t build us no box.

I can speak like them too, real nice.

I can string together complex sentences,

weave a narrative, and talk philosophy.

I can open my mouth and allow metaphors

to tumble out of them and make a mess

right on their kitchen table.

But I shouldn’t have to do it,

just to escape a box.

No, boxes aren’t meant for a people to live in.

Boxes are meant for dying in.

When I get out,

I’m going to steal back the sky

and put it in my grandchildrens eyes.

That box, them borders,

they won’t mean anything no more.

You can’t cage a people

that were made from earth and sky.

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