“Heritage,” New Era, Mar. 2012, 49


My body is the work of a thousand Danish Vikings

whose blood throbs in my veins,

whose sunlight shines through my hair.

My grandfather gave me stature,

and my aunt (on the other side),


like hers,

blue until adolescence and

then slowly turning emerald.

I speak with my mother’s

mother’s mouth.

And though one bloodline blurred my sight,

and the other gave me weight,

I have the heart

of my brothers

and the brain

of my sisters

I proudly possess a set of good bones.

There’s power in my arms,

my legs,

my back, from

the farmers and fighters who walk in my past,

who built me from pieces,

whose hair and height and

heart I will pass on.

Photo by Megan Hawryluk