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Brecksville, Ohio

By Margo Tamez

For my father

The weather in Brecksville was in transition.
He was wearing a light jacket. The seasonal
change of weather variations,
highs and lows, required layers.

Mid-October temperature                    ranges
freezing            to         61 Fahrenheit.

One must be prepared
for all weather, all types.
Sun to fog.
Downpours to flurries.

Fall foliage
peaks                at this pivot,
this turn,
this shift.

He had advanced cardiac arrest.
He drove himself          to the VA.
Just 100 yards from his front porch. 

                                                                            If he just imagined  he           was running
                                                                                                    to score              an
                                                                            touchdown, he          could arrive.
                                                                                                  He could           score.

When he reached the ER,                                       they didn’t know
he was the Chief Nurse’s spouse.                          They ID’d him as a middle-aged 
                                                                                      brown Vet
                                                                                      in sweats.

Someone told him to sit down and wait.
Wait to be called.
                                                                                      He followed orders.
                                                                                      He obeyed.

Followed rules.                                                          Did what he was told.
He arrested.                                                                Slumped over.
Then, he died                                                                         while waiting to be seen.




Listen as Margo Tamez reads "Brecksville, Ohio"

Added: Friday, January 22, 2021  /  Used with permission.
Margo Tamez
Photo by Margo Tamez.

Margo Tamez (she/her/hers) is a Ndé Dene [Lipan Apache] poet-historian. Born in KónítsaįįgokÍyąą—Dene spiritual cultural territory—of remote, rural and urban communities spread across texas-new mexico-mexico bordered, walled and militarized lands. She speaks to complexities of compartmentalized indigeneity, embedded in and simultaneously erased by s. & sw texas dispossessions and erasures enacted through anti-Indigenous, anti-Black, and anti-Mexican processes of settler place-making. She explores belonging in occupied territory, made possible by transgenerational genocide survivance, resistance, and resilience of Dene, Comanche, Nahua, Jumano, and Mexican-Indigenous ancestors. Her poetry collection, FATHER | GENOCIDE, is forthcoming from Turtle Point Press. She’s a faculty member in Indigenous Studies and MFA Poetry programs at the University of British Columbia (Kelowna, BC, Canada). Previous collections are Naked Wanting and Raven Eye.

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