A Poem for Mushkego Ogitchidaakwe Theresa Spence and the People
by waaseyaa'sin christine sy
make ka.na.da shake, a redux of “this, her swagger”
a poem once aspired
to bear witness
to the powerful ways
indigenous peoples posture.
it tried and tried,
tried some more,
got kicked around.
felt inadequate, scared
walked away, frustrated & beat.
it looked back from where it came
and all around
looked over there
to mushkego ogithcidaakwe Theresa Spence
took a deep breathe
i am struck by the powerful ways
indigenous peoples posture, in this country. i am
struck by all of Us. with all of how
We set our SELVES out, in this country.
check it out:
they lean forward there, elbows on
knees, shoulder-width apart.
fingers entwined. head down
or up, Métis are intent
on every word said
and they are DONE waiting to respond!
and Ongwe:onweh stands akimbo
or one hip in limbo; the don’t
dance in one spot, they got moves
“WE’RE GIVIN’ IT EVERYTHING WE GOT!”
and the long spine bend,
stretching vibrations from
their healing song or fluttering
as they work with another
while canada makes colonization roads
and more mines,
that there IS Inuuk.
and these neechz they gots the leeaan back,
down pat—legs out, ankles crossed,
hands in pocket—lookin’ Stephen Harper RIGHT IN THE
if those Cree calling you out, brings
you down, they’ll just chuckle,
shake their head, say “cha” or
“wachay”, keep on walking into THEIR day
doing it THEIR way
having THEIR say
WE ALL GOTS THE LOOK
of one knee up, one knee down,
laying OUR kind of AH-SE-MAA (tobacco) on
this PARLIAMENTARY CEMENT GROUND!!
WE ALL GOTS
and THIS, our swagger.
WE ALL GOTS OUR HOMELANDS
AND THIS, OUR SWAGGER.
we all gots our homelands.
make ka-na-da shake.