On November 19, 25 students from Pablo, St. Ignatius, Arlee, and Ronan gathered to read their poetry in front of an audience at Salish Kootenai College. After a sumptuous potluck Salish elder and poet Victor Charlo started off the evening by reading a selection of his poems that included “Dixon Direction”. Aspen Decker next read three student poems that had been translated into Salish. The night concluded with the 4th and 5th grade students reading poems that ranged from “I’m Sorry to Say” poems inspired by William Carlos Williams to poems about their home landscapes inspired by Charlo’s “Dixon Direction”. Here’s one poem we heard that evening, “I was Born” by Derek from Charlo School:
I was born in California
I was born bald
I was born as small as a sunflower seed
I was born to play football
I was born in 2010
I was born tasting blood
I was born crying
I was born and put into a towel
I was born smelling a hospital
I was born seeing a light
I was born hearing my dad
I was born feeling free air
I wasn’t born to be churlish
Poet Victor Charlo reads
at Salish and Kootenai College