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Radical Kinship

by Amy Baskin


—dedicated to the staff of Homeboy Industries and Fr. Greg Boyle


Tell me again all about my roots.
Swab my cheeks. Can you see my tender leaves,
grown from Celtic twigs and exiled Teuton hardwood?


Tell me again all about my mind.
Can you hear it think in agglutinations and honorifics,
home among persimmon, bamboo and Kwanzan branches?


Tell me again all about my soul.

Can you feel it thrive under the canopy
of the world tree, connected by tissues stronger than Quebacho, Gidgee or Rosewood?

Tell me again I don’t hurt when someone tramples our common roots.

They are only roots I know. See how we bleed together when our branches are lopped off. Hold dear our precious grafted heartwood.



About the Author:


Amy Baskin lives with her husband and two children in Portland, Oregon where she works as a freelance writer and program coordinator for international students at Lewis & Clark College.  When she’s not working Amy likes to run, hike, camp with friends, and dream. Her poems have appeared in Califragile, apt, Every Pigeon, and other journals.


Archive, The River

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