Turquoise and Steel
Here I am
Using anxious hands to create fluorescent lines
Like moths desperately searching for light,
I hunt for words to illuminate this paper
With the love story my Aunt and Uncle have been writing for sixty-four years.
I give up.
The words I need do not yet exist.
So for now I will sit here and let their love seep into my skin
I have plans to pack it inside of my rib cage where it will be protected
And exist long after their bodies are gone.
Amanda Russell is a Mohegan cultural advocate and currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. On numerous occasions, Amanda has been appointed as Head Lady Dancer for the annual Mohegan Wigwam Festival. She began teaching tribal dance classes in her late teens and still continues teaching in hopes of giving strength and support to youths struggling with their Native American identity. When Amanda is not Fancy Shawl dancing or teaching, she’s writing. Amanda wrote the poem below to honor the source of her inspiration and motivation to never stop writing: Aunt Gina’s graceful dancing and Uncle Tommy’s iron worker spirit.