What if I am on fire? Do you see me now? Is this what it takes to see my face, my tears, my heart?
This fire, this scorching, scarring blaze felt first by my ancestors has been tended for the length of our DNA. It has not destroyed, eliminated, crippled my humanity. It has tempered it to a strength not yet fully tested.
Let me tell you once and again, peaceful is my choice. Let me tell you again and again. Let me let you hear the hurt in my voice.
Hear me and know we are equal. Hear me and know action will support intent. Hear me and know that forgiveness awaits.
Come closer to this fire. Feel its heat. Feel its source. Feel its potential.
Come closer. See me and know I am on fire and Will no longer be denied My voice.
Ronya Galligo-Hoblit, Oglala Lakota, was born and raised in Martin, SD, but now resides in Mandan, ND. She has had works published in the Tribal College Journal, a South Dakota Humanities Council anthology, Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies (CAIRNS). 'My Fire' was written as a form of self-preservation; writing about hope as opposed to losing it.