As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Reed Bobroff – Poetry


assuming this is really how tradition works

is a sturdy foundation
of sticks          love is the smooth smoke that stains the top of the tipi

assuming this is how tradition really works

when wood
like too many fists
into hot coals

it takes a strong woman to walk         around the fire and collect pieces        of her                           
          husband’s backbone:
war paint
ribbon shirt
it takes a strong           woman to tie what’s left of her husband in a bundle         of divorce
         them from her home                leave them outside like dogs or stars to run off                 
         stronger still if             she can walk away      tipi bound       and lie down alone

with a

          on the walls     handprints and charcoal glyphs smell of sweetgrass

weak light from a memory
darkens the smoke hole
circling the opening
like buzzards

*      *      *

Reed Bobroff head shotReed Adair Bobroff is To’dich’iinii Diné (Navajo) from Albuquerque, New Mexico and a freshman at Yale University. In 2010 he was featured on HBO’s “Brave New Voices” with the ABQ Unidos Youth Poetry Slam Team. Reed has presented his work across the world in venues such as the Saban Theater (Los Angeles, Ca.), the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Nga Taiatea Wharekura (Hamilton, Maori). Reed has shared the stage with artists such as Buddy Wakefield, Idris Goodwin, Jessica Helen Lopez, and Rise Against. Reed’s work has appeared in various publications, most notably, La Llorona, an anthology of New Mexican myths; and Te Pī Ka Rere, a publication through Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal for his writing portfolio submitted to Scholastic’s Alliance of Young Artists & Writers.

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