Kim Shuck

Day 7

Disappeared is not good enough
Will it take a generation of Indigenous art dedicated only to this?
Will it take two?
Life sized sister sculptures
For each woman torn from our communities?
The empty cities of us 
What is not made difficult is made illegal
If not marginalized then poisoned
Pulled apart unfinished weaving
You have not only come for our traditional stories
You have come for our future


Day 10

Because baby and mother trade cells
The first gift 
Before crayon drawings and
Paper weaving 
Mother is a kind of mythological creature
Micro chimera
Carrying pieces of our missing daughters
Our bodies a private museum of loss

Murdered Missing is a series of 50 poems I wrote to investigate my own feelings about the crushing numbers of Indigenous women who are taken and murdered every year.


Some Other Thing

It was always clear that I was 
The thing not like the others
Those days we’d take the bus 
After school
All the way to the park
Sit up on the hill
Your head on my shoulder
And a plague of squirrels
Near the pond 
I tell you now that it was a good trade
A belonging I didn’t want
In exchange for your time 
Which I did
In the next couple of years
The women from that school who came out to me
As though I had any idea
But I had been chosen for sacrifice
So I guess I had the merit badge
In my boots and leather jacket
I guess I made the teacher uncomfortable too
Carrying Adrienne Rich like an amulet I didn’t understand
To a war I wasn’t paying attention to
With people I couldn’t wait to outgrow
People I can’t wait to outgrow
In retrospect
It was a pretty good love story


Kim Shuck is the 7th poet laureate of San Francisco. Shuck is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma through one side of the family and the other has lived in San Francisco for generations. Kim is sole author of 7 books, the latest being a chapbook, Whose Water?  from Mammoth Publications, and Deer Trails from City Lights Foundation Books.