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by Pati L. Martinson
In China, how did I ever get to come;
From a reservation border town to slaving in hot sugar beet fields,
nose bleeding, heart beating,
I never dreamed China, China
August 29, 1995 one day before my birthday
35,000 women from all over the world.
Saris, dashikis, silks, cottons, T-shirts, jeans, colors so amazing,
muslim women covered in black, young beautiful woman from Nepal
with a dangling ring in her nose, she rises in the talking circle in Tent
"Sisters, she says, I have come here to learn from you, please help me”
I did not dream of China,
I dreamed of freedom, freedom from fear and hunger, freedom from
fists and boots and freedom to sleep with both eyes closed.
I dreamed of rest, quiet a space to read and dream. Years later and
I am in China of which I did not dream.
Woman from India, flashing eyes, powerful voice tells of struggles to
keep the babies alive.
Government says only cash crops on this land, no room for gardens
no time to plan
Woman from Guatemala, says "they killed my family one by one
tortured and raped my mother, yet we are still here"
Woman from Burma says, "we can not cross this border, they shoot
us but we do not know where the border is from day-to-day"
They dream, they vision,
they hope despite the tragedies and tears.
35,000 women who did not dream, meet in China, share pain, love of
family, love of life song, dance, laughter and dreams.
Pati Martin and Terrie Bad Hand are co-directors of
the Taos County Economic Development Corporation.
TCEDC co-hosted our Assembly in New Mexico in 1995.