This poem takes place on battlegrounds. The poet — Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo — is at Gettysburg National Military Park, where she wanders around the cemetery searching for the graves of Mexican soldiers. Instead she finds KKK books on display in the park’s visitors gift shop. So much of this poem is about unearthing, and making offerings of devotion and life: the poet makes offerings to her ancestors, but she also makes offerings of water bottles to migrants at border crossings.
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge. She considers herself an experiential witness poet for today’s America, and in 2017, she was the Gettysburg National Military Park’s “Poet in the Park,” in partnership with National Parks Arts Foundation and the Poetry Foundation. Her poem, "Battlegrounds," featured in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, was written during this time. A former Steinbeck Fellow, Xochitl Julisa Bermejo is the director of Women Who Submit, a literary organization fighting for gender parity in publishing.
Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
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