It’s spring! DerFrühling! Printemps!

Ring bells! Play the sackbut and shawm!

Excel. Rise and shine...

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My Name Is Hmoob: Call Me Freedom

(Photo: Patience Zalanga)

My name is not “Exotic . . .”
My name is Freedom
My people are worth more than eye
candy and shallow praise,
My people have no home, no country
We are from stolen territory...

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City Trees, Coffee Shop, Spring

Nina’s Coffee Café. (Illustration: Ken Avidor/AvidorStudios.com)

Some days trees are all I see.

Today they’re getting fringed in leaves

at the crown. Underneath

there’s a huge ball of root

that nobody sees except my son...

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Bald-headed Men and Sundays

Exhibit A. (Photo: Tony Ernst/gamelaner on Flickr)

My boys viewed their mid-1980s births
in the old Midway Hospital on University
between Porky’s and Ax-Man
as an embarrassment, a slight
their Saint Paul mom had designed to punish them
by withholding the polished corridors
of HCMC in their own hometown...

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Skeleton of a Nation

(Painting: Tom McGregor/mcgregorart.com)

jagged rocks dusted red

bleed rose water from ancient springs

who was baptized here

saved and sustained by sacrificial land...

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A Little Rock

(Grafitti/image courtesy Banksy,  www.banksy.co.uk)

A rock on the ground,

next to the rock a tree,

on the tree is a bird,

its feathers like the river...

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(Illustration: Justin Strom/PaintAddict.com)

It hadn’t occurred to me until someone at work brought it to my attention that this winter has been going on for eleven years. I said, “That can’t be. Surely not.” But then I got thinking about it. It was eleven years ago November we moved into this house. You remember, snow was just beginning and we had so much trouble getting the refrigerator down the driveway and through the door.

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Photograph of My Grandparents

(Photo courtesy Korissa Howes. Restoration by Mike McColl)

Made in black and white

Frayed upon the edges

Free of wrinkles despite

That they were not then

My father’s parents

Looked so in love...

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True Myth

(Photo: Bob Muschewske/370SummitStPaul.com)

Tell a child she is composed of parts

(her Ojibway quarters, her German half-heart)

she’ll find the existence of harpies easy

to swallow. Storybook children never come close

to her mix, but manticores make great uncles...

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