Alive in Ohio
“Ohio” is derived from an Iroquois word.
Cincinnatus was a Roman statesman.
My mother birthed me in a hospital in Ohio, which means
I am native to a place named by people we try to hide. Which means
I am from land my ancestors never laid eyes on. Ohio. My home
has a yard that used to be a forest where I grow plants who know
the soil like I still love my mother. We call them native. The difference
between native and indigenous is relation to land. Good river.
The city was named for a man who never knew a monarch
to move through milkweed. Never knew the Ohio. Its sandy banks.
Its mother’s milk. I don’t know when a yard becomes a garden becomes a seed.
The difference between from and from is who sees this river.
My black-eyed Susans shoot straight down, long,
and hold the earth in place. Rooted. I call them related.
I keep digging for somewhere to be from.