reviewing the maternal
Poems by Kamella Bird-Romero
are they generational?
are they cultural?
nature vs. nurture?
is it my own?
do any of the above
make noise to children with fresh oyeh, ears dear
pho, pho phendi, black hair
these are your anto
prayer shoes, they are formal, unmemorized
but in review
baby clings and presses his palm to mine like I have been his mother, forever
I am gravity, or earth which came first?
milking moon, dusting earth
I am Mead Moon, Hare Moon, must be a moon
Earth does not phase this way
do any of the above
make noise to me
po, water, moon, elk
Cloud-headdress wearer, no sketches of her/him
that makes noise to everyone
the brass bells bringing them forth
summer woman, barefoot in snow
mother, belonging to my father
it all belongs to me.
she could pluck mountain passes between forefinger and thumb
toss tree skirts up, nose close to pine cones, sweeping up the Rocky range snowcaps
she was cleaning house
dusting off the mountains and the mother that slept through fifteen winters
Wake Up, Up, Up
scarves warmly keep necks from snapping
sloppily sliding down the side of a giant
intoxication was poured into her coffee, earmuffs, memory
she has a bruised tail bone from running
stumbling through the windchill flurry, out of the canyon
blurry, spinning, flipping out from under her mother’s frozen shoe
her forefinger and thumb could strum a flask instead of a mountain pass
but that is hibernation
now is time to Wake, Wake, Wake
in the elevation in the melting snow just make it muddy
we are fresh out of herbal remedies, the compass is broken
dropping down the side of winter
Kamella Bird-Romero was born in Northern New Mexico in 1991. She resides on her Tewa ancestral lands in Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo with her three children. In 2011 she began attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has studied fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The birth of each child sparked distinct writing styles and influenced her themes of maternity, femininity, generational power and womanhood. She writes for her Tewa people and believes herself a vessel for the living stories within. She will receive her BFA in Creative Writing from IAIA in the Spring of 2022.