Published on Academy of American Poets (

I hope to God you will not ask

I hope to God you will not ask me to go anywhere except my own country. If we go back, we will follow whatever orders you give us. We do not want to go right or left, but straight back to our own land.

I hope to God you will not ask

Me or my People to send

Postcard greetings: lamented wind

Of perfect sunrisings, golden

Yes, we may share the same sun setting

But the in-between hours are hollow

The People fill the void with prayers for help

Calling upon the Holy Ones

Those petitions penetrate and loosen

The binds you tried to tighten

Around our heart, a tension

Blocking the wind, like a shell

Fluttering inside, fluttering inside


Copyright © 2019 by Esther Belin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 14, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The poem is an anagram poem using a phrase taken from Navajo headman, Barboncito, in his speech to General Sherman on May 28, 1868. As a citizen of the Navajo Nation, I am grateful to our leaders who had courage and vision to express our innate connection to our homeland, Diné bikéyah. This poem was inspired by the work of Terrance Hayes and his wonderful craft of anagram poetry.”
—Esther Belin


Esther Belin

Esther Belin is the author two poetry collections, including Of Cartography (University of Arizona Press, 2017), and From the Belly of My Beauty (University of Arizona Press, 2000), winner of the 2000 American Book Award.

Date Published: 2019-06-14

Source URL: