The Earth Herself is Two-Spirit

by Diika:néhi Segovia

The Earth Herself is Two-Spirit

Could you speak a little louder?

The Earth Herself is Two-Spirit 

for my own mother is Two-Spirit

*Was Two-Spirit

My mother was the first Earth

I ever called home

The space under her ribs a cradle

Unlike any other i have known

Could you speak a little louder?

There’s no need to whisper

Whispers drifting from the teeth

Of my uncles as they ask

Why it is i don’t sit with the 

Other boys, I wanted to say

There was no ‘other’

A whisper can’t hurt you

Unless you listen too closely

How long have you known you’re


Two-Spirit has never been known

In a way possible to forget

Even when it has been whispered

It has passed from mouth to mouth

Lips to lips, over and under

Blood to blood, mother to son

A-cross the plains, wandering

They say the germ was faster 

Than the bullet, but they didn’t ask

How fast was the cross?

Across the stretches of

Reservation land and these bodies

Reserved in the knowledge of 

Their own skin

I am safer than i’ve ever been

But never have i been so alone

Alone in the place you 

Call home

Calling your own name

Your Indian skin responds

I cannot hide the lines on my skin

Nor can i hide from the truth of 

My name, what it means to be


Even if you whisper it

They’ll taste it on your words

Feel it in your eyes

Why don’t you sit with

The other boys?

Even if i scream at the top

These lungs i am not a 


Unknown faces will tell me

‘Bite your tongue’

‘You cannot belong’

You cannot hide your Indian Face

You cannot hide your mother’s name

You inherited more than her eyes 

And the colour of her hair

What can you say for yourself?

Queer is a word that tries to

Cut me in two

Two-Spirit doesn’t mean broken

Didn’t make your mother half the 

Woman she knew she was

Doesn’t make me half my

Father’s child, even when

She stood waiting for him

To come home

I am not half man

Half woman, unless i can be

Half mother, half child

I don’t know what else to say

Speak up and tell me what

You are

I am my mother’s child

Rooted in a soil that will

Never change

I am an Indian with a name

That speaks loud enough to 

Listen, i am one whole

One being that cannot be 

Broken into two

I am Two-Spirit