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Saturday, August 03, 2013


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

Lakota grandmothers in South Dakota
Report that the Department of Social Services
Illegally places Lakota children in foster care
Away from their communities
And extended families
And that those children are continually dosed
With an array of psychoactive drugs
Thus providing pharmaceutical corporations
With a lucrative market
As well as a ready supply of guinea pigs.
When two Lakota children’s noses
Would not stop bleeding
From the medications they he were being fed
Instead of discontinuing the drugs
Doctors sutured their nostrils shut

I know there are those who believe
That humanity is making moral progress
But I see progress in the opposite direction:
As the forces of accumulation and profit grind on
They have become ever more monstrously creative
And efficient
And effective
At mangling lives
Decimating communities
Torturing bodies
And pulverizing spirits.

The good Dr. King told us
That the moral arc of the universe
Bends toward justice
But if I were a little Lakota boy
Stolen from my people
Used as a lab rat
Gagging on the blood pooled in my throat
From a sewn-up nose
I might find that
Difficult to swallow.

Buff Whitman-Bradley is the author of four books of poetry, b. eagle, poet; The Honey Philosophies; Realpolitik; and When Compasses Grow Old; and the chapbook, Everything Wakes Up! His poetry has appeared in many print and online journals. He is also co-editor, with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley and Sarah Lazare, of the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War.  He has co-produced/directed two documentary films, the award-winning Outside In (with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley) and Por Que Venimos (with the MIRC Film Collective).  He lives in northern California.