As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Victoria Garica – Poetry

Born With My Father’s Warrior Spirit

I was supposed to be your son

but when tha doctor told

you and mom
it’s a girl

your heart still smiled at tha thought of me


Fragmented memories recall

my 7th birthday

you gave me a hatchet

cuz I don’t sleep next to Barbie dolls

but road tonka trucks

like skateboards

didn’t paint nails or play dress up

but climbed trees to pick juicy red plums

explored creeks of endless adventures

of tadpool and crodad catching

or tha time when my bluebelly lizard died

and you took me to catch one


You’re my father

I can still remember that day

when cops came to take away

my hatchet

cuz I cut down a small tree

for my fort

foreshadowing my future

problems with authority

Arrested age 22 by UCPD bike cop

for no headlight and questioning why

our blood runs deep

cuz lost count of how many times you in jail

authority didn’t like you much neither


You taught me to reach for sky

like tree branches forever extending

to feel kiss of sun

but harsh winds

shook your trunk early in life

alcohol and drug addiction struggle

but you still managed to take care of your family

not constantly absent

but with too many slipped moments of

drunken fist fights and skinned face crashes

broke your branches and roots weak

till slowly you tipped

hit by a car that didn’t see you

as you lay cradled by tha ground

your eyes closed for eternal rest



As creator carried your spirit

You see 5 daughters still rooted

with bright energy of constellations

forever bringing light to others

we stem from tha same tree

once we were seeds

planted in mother earth

raised with tha love of you and mom

whose strength we gained

from tha creator and sun

and from you

our strong roots

to keep us grounded


I’m your daughter

With 22 years of growth

I hold regret of lost conversations

I carry tha tears you left unshed

cuz death took you too soon


Help me shed them for you

Give me a journey

to find you within me

to have peace

from our unspoken words


Show me a ceremony

to heal from wounds

infected from alcohol poison


I will always carry you with me

Even weak at times

Muscle run thin

Hard to hold my head up

But strength from you comes again

Cuz your warrior spirit

lives within me

breathing everlasting strength

As slow as the wind that tickles our tree branches

Teach me a ceremony to heal

the warrior spirit within me

Hear my prayers

carried to you on smoke of sage

a ritual I practice

till my time comes to fly the winds with you


Victoria Garica headshotVictoria Garica is Chiricahua Apache and grew up in Covelo, CA on the Round Valley Indian Reservation. She also identifies as Chicana in addition to all of her intersecting identities for which she uses writing as a way to process the complexities of life. As a graduating senior at UC Berkeley, she majored in American Studies with an area of concentration in Native American Representations in Film and Performance. Vickie also double minored in Native American Studies and Creative Writing and plans to eventually attend medical school after completing the requirements in a Post-Bacc program. Vickie writes poetry as a form of resistance.

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