Leaving


We left Hopi because a small boy was run over and crushed by a truck.

Because a man killed his pregnant girlfriend and threw her off a cliff. Because a girl and her brother beat their mom to death with a barbell and burned her house to the ground. Because on the rez you can get away with murder. Because non-natives were dealing meth in the villages and no one seemed to care. And even if they did no one could do a thing about it.

Because every week acquaintances would drink themselves to death. Because a neighbor killed a raven. And poisoned an anthill. And beat a harmless bull snake to death with a hoe.

Because after eight years of digging the hard pan, the clay was still bone dry. Because I knew that after all I left, my work would remain undone.

Because our daughter needed to know what it was like to live off reservation. Because I couldn’t drive the 120 miles to flag one more time.

Because I spent my days composing telegrams from hell. Because most everyone we knew had already left. Because children were under served by their own families. Because I was tired of all that I knew. Because I was tired of the lies.  Lies told by my community.  Or by my own family.  Because we didn’t have much more left in us.

Because If you’re a sensate being you one day reach a point where you just can’t take it.

And then it’s time to go.

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