beaded trout

Red River Moan

Red River Moan

Gathered in voice we emerged from this river
scuffling calls like water on banks till new
mewing cries bent bodies of bare breasted
women roped, netted like baskets of crayfish.
Red clay like me, our own men come to trade
at this Fort St. Jean Baptiste aux Natchitoches.

Is that sunshine his pathway may cover
And the grief of the Red River Girl.[1]

Red skin, red blood, bodies break, bodies take, mewl cauls
Chitimacha, Natchez to slave, us Cadeaux, Lipan sex make
Just shy ninety years click by and these planters of cotton
and cane, slaves, and those known as gens de couleur libres a
quarter count us in their blood, over half that number runs Indian
slave, blue bodies cost, but Lipan woman for only 50 dollars.[2]
Red skin, red blood, bodies break, bodies take, sex breaks.
Chitimacha, Natchez to slave, us Cadeaux, Lipan mewl calls.

Is that sunshine his pathway may cover
And the grief of the Red River Girl.

We emerged from this river, made of red
clay, broke from earth and water struggled to
breath, and yet our wrists still harbor rope burn.
Our cries trembling blue notes like muscadine
skin. While you have wandered into the sun, the
blood in our women warbles a red river moan.

Is that sunshine his pathway may cover
And the grief of the Red River Girl.

[1] "Red River Valley," Edith Fowke version. Although it is much accepted that the 19th century ballad, "Red River Valley," is set within the Canadian Red River bed, and Fowke makes an accepted argument that in its earliest form laments the love of not only land but that of Euro-Indian miscegenation during the Riel Rebellion. The irony of this song is not lost on those of us whose French descendants traveled the river, or similar waterways, intermarrying with Indian women, to settle in another Red River valley, creating more métis, mestizos, Creole, and Cajun peoples and cultures.
[2] See: Barr, Juliana. "From Captives to Slaves: Commodifying Indian Women in the Borderlands." The Journal of American History 92.1 (2005): 40-41

Rain C. Gomez


contents of issue 5

Considering Oceans
Linda Rodriguez

Source
Howard Miller

Clear Lake
Martha Cinader Mims

Reflections on Water
John D. Berry

Storyteller
Jeanette Calhoun Mish

Thirst
Kim McMillon

Ocean
Mary Jean Robertson

Water, Light, Sails Up! Reckless
Brianna Lee Pruett

Red River Moan
Rain C. Gomez


Rain C. Gomez Biography

Rain C. Goméz, is a Sutton Doctoral Fellow in English at University of Oklahoma. Her first book Smoked Mullet Cornbread Memory (Mongrel Empire October 2012), won the 2009 First Book Award in poetry for from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, (NWCA). A is self-described "TriRacially Fluffy and Fabulous" Louisiana Méstiza (Louisiana Choctaw, Creole, Mvskoke), paternally, and Canadian Metis, CelticAmerican maternally, Rain grew up along the Gulf of Mexico in Mvskogean-Creole homelands. She was raised on gumbo and smoked mullet, with saltwater in her veins and bayou muck in her blood.


Permission to publish poems in this one context was granted by the authors, who unless otherwise specified, hold copyright on these works.