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Thursday, March 11, 2010


by Lucille Gang Shulklapper

Dreams are the fabric of countries
at war; patterned, sold to natives,
painted with oil, dipped in lye.  Colors
of egg shell,  ivory, or bone
outline skeletons, cloak history
only the buyers remember.

 Neither can sellers remember                          
 names of rock-piled countries;                         
 where, lying in dark history,
 in the mottled flesh of natives,
 they covered  the buried bones
of  ashen dreamers drawn to color.

Earthen, flesh tones, colors
of  mass graves remembered,
scattered  like gnawed chicken bones
in the stilled air of a sleeping country,
where dreamers weave history
warp and weft, in native

 looms.   Life belongs to natives
dreaming patterns of bold color,
in blanched landscapes; their history
witnessed and  remembered
by refugees  of a tortured country,
inked on charred flesh, and nibbled bones.

When bright red darkens, vivid colors
 disappear in manufactured history.
 Will there be one person to remember
 the fabric of a country,
who will gather its buried bones,
who will awaken its sleeping natives

from black tears and stupor?   Who will promise native
looms,  tribal customs,  and dreams colored
in  fetal flesh and  bone?
Who will print dreams from oral histories
of  dwellers in self- fashioned countries?
Who will stir others and remember?

I beg you:  Remember those forgotten natives
whose dreams for their country can never color                        
pieced history,  clothed in skins dyed the color of bone.

A workshop leader,  Lucille Gang Shulklapper writes fiction and poetry. Her work appears in many publications, as well as in four poetry chapbooks, What You Cannot Have, The Substance of Sunlight, Godd, It’s Not Hollywood, and In The Tunnel. Living up to traditional expectations led to work as a salesperson, model, realtor, teacher, and curriculum coordinator throughout schooling, marriage, children, and grandchildren.