The Ramingo’s Porch – “Native Americans Return to the Suburbs” A Poem By Ethan Goffman

Native Americans Return to the Suburbs

Native Americans tread, creep, sprint, and leap
through America’s suburbs.

Rabbit nibbles incessantly on vast salad bowls,
breeds copiously on a million lawns,
watches nervously for enemies, Cat and Car,
feels a rush of adrenaline, strange joy as
she dashes into a thicket.

Rabbit suckles her babies,
loves them deeply, forgets them quickly,
remembers the centuries, lives in the now.

Deer no longer dwells in shadows,
hiding from her
ancient friend, ancient nemesis:
for whom she has, time and again and again,
kindly provided nourishment.

Nowadays, Deer eyes two-legged beasts,
common as the stars,
as curiosities
if not quite

Clever Fox hunts from the hidden places,
preserves the gardens of her tidy human neighbors
from Rabbit’s ravages.

Fox remembers her long-lost cousin, Wolf,
slaughtered and confined to

Fox mourns Wolf, but cannot

Crow struts boldly down gray streets,
steps nimbly between killer machines,
dines greedily on road kill,
digests corpses of Squirrel, Chipmunk, Rabbit, Deer.

Flying into nearby yards, meadows, Crow
returns her cousins to the soil from which they sprang.

Crow remembers Raven, clever thief
who stole the sun,
to alleviate humanity’s

Native Americans live among us,
if one knows where to look,
ghosts, spirits, remnants
of 50 million dead,
Mohawk, Cherokee, Sioux, Ojibwe, Pawnee, Diné,
countless more, names forgotten.

Ethan Goffman’s first volume of poetry, Words for Things Left Unsaid, is just out from Kelsay Books.  Ethan is co-founder of It Takes a Community, a Montgomery College initiative bringing poetry to students and local residents.  Ethan is also founder and producer of the Poetry & Planet podcast on

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