A Poem for Mushkego Ogitchidaakwe Theresa Spence and the People

by waaseyaa'sin christine sy

 

A Poem for Mushkego Ogitchidaakwe Theresa Spence and the People

 

 

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,

was embarrassed.

tried some more,

got kicked around.

kept trying,

felt inadequate, scared

walked away, frustrated & beat.

 it looked back from where it came

looked ahead

and all around

looked over there

to mushkego ogithcidaakwe Theresa Spence

took a deep breathe

*deep breathe*

returned unrelenting

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

that say

WE’RE GIVIN’ IT EVERYTHING WE GOT!”

and the long spine bend,

stretching vibrations from

their healing song or fluttering

knife

fluttering knife

flafla fluttering

as they work with another

and 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

EYE, guy.

that’s Anishinaabeg!

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

hokaaaaaaaaaaa hey!!

 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

 OUR HOMELANDS

and THIS, our swagger.

WE ALL GOTS OUR HOMELANDS

AND THIS, OUR SWAGGER.

we all gots our homelands.

hiy hiy.

make ka-na-da shake.

 

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