Lisa Panepinto

the houma of louisiana
blessed the beginning
of shrimp season
as oil spilled thru
their watersheds

politicians said
the cost of protecting
the estuaries is not
worth your community

the houma sow
their healing plants
on higher ground now


unable to tell her your feelings towards transporting
fossil fuels along the columbia

and burning coal trains on tribal land
just saying i feel like a caged animal

find your peace she says
walk on the beach

hide in the dark brick
with blinds closed

open the windows at night
to let the stars in

secret breath of earth
come to me when no one’s around


the trains
took away
the mountaintops
the side of the bear’s home
earth body
& hauled away
the vanished live
in clouds now

how difficult it is
to start again
with monsters
building pipelines thru
your ribs

the train took
my baby away

Lisa Panepinto is the author of two poetry collections, On This Borrowed Bike (Three Rooms Press, 2013) and Island Dreams (Cabildo Press, 2009). Her writing has appeared in The Accompanist, Maintenant, Pittsburgh City Paper, Planet Drum, Red Flag Poetry, and more. She is poetry editor for Cabildo Quarterly, an online and print literary journal.