Allison Hedge Coke (Cherokee Nation, United States of America)

Por: Allison Hedge Coke

America, I Sing Back

For Phil Young and my father, Robert Hedge Coke

America, I sing back. Sing back what sung you in.
Sing back the moment you cherished breath.
Sing you home into yourself and back to reason.

Oh, before America began to sing, I sung her to sleep,
held her in cradleboard, wept her into day.
My song gave her creation, prepared her delivery,
held her severed cord beautifully beaded.

My song helped her stand, held her hand for first steps,
nourished her very being, fed her, placed her three sisters strong.
My song comforted her as she battled my reason
broke my long held footing sure, as any child might do.

Lo, as she pushed herself away, forced me to remove myself,
as I cried this country, my song grew roses in each tear's fall.

My blood veined rivers, painted pipestone quarries
circled canyons, while she made herself maiden fine.

Oh, but here I am, here I am, here, I remain high on each and every peak,
carefully rumbling her great underbelly, prepared to pour forth singing-

and sing again I will, as I have always done.
Never silenced unless in the company of strangers, singing
the stoic face, polite repose, polite, while dancing deep inside, polite
Mother of her world. Sister of myself.

When my song sings aloud again. When I call her back to cradle.
Call her to peer into waters, to behold herself in dark and light,
day and night, call her to sing along, call her to mature, to envision-
Then, she will make herself over. My song will make it so. When she grows far past her self-considered purpose,
I will sing her back, sing her back. I will sing. Oh, I will'I do.
America, I sing back. Sing back what sung you in.


Allison Hedge Coke was born in the Cherokee nation in August 4 of 1958. Of French, Canadian and Portuguese ascendants, she grew riding horses, picking up tobacco in North Carolina and working in factories. She carried out studies of creative writing in the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and in the Boulder's Naropa Institute with poet Allen Ginsberg. Her poems have been included in diverse newspapers, magazines and in the anthologies: Speaking for the Generations and the Lanas, Visit Teepee Town , and Reninventing the Enemy's Language. Co-editor of Voice of Thunder. Her first published poetry book, Dog Road Woman obtained the American Book Award in 1998.

Última actualización: 04/09/2021