Terese Marie Mailhot | Heart Berries | Counterpoint | February 2018 | 11 minutes (3,098 words)

Terese Marie Mailhot’s powerful, lyrical memoir is about a member of the Salish tribe reckoning with her past and mapping her future. 


Indian Condition

My story was maltreated. The words were too wrong and ugly to speak. I tried to tell someone my story, but he thought it was a hustle. He marked it as solicitation. The man took me shopping with his pity. I was silenced by charity — like so many Indians. I kept my hand out. My story became the hustle.

Women asked me what my endgame was. I hadn’t thought about it. I considered marrying one of the men and sitting with my winnings, but I was too smart to sit. I took their money and went to school. I was hungry and took more. When I gained the…

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