by waaseyaa'sin christine sy

forty-two and still nervous to walk in front of a man sitting in a big, shiny truck. nervous about safety gaze ogled; aging, so maybe now dismissed because of that. not maybe. that hurts, too. had to walk over there to the other side of that truck because your kid is there doing ishki’ikawewewizehns things, over there in that building in end of niibin, setting sun. green thick grass. orange, yellow, gold. changing colours because the land is changing. movement. warmth. height of day, end of summer heat. makes you squint happy into your face. coulda cut through around and behind him across that freshly mowed grass. coulda but cutting corners isn’t you and also some neighbourhoods…heavy on civilization. “Please Don’t Walk On The Grass” even with no signs. coulda woulda but didn’t because nervous was (ir)rational and a rational reason combined with an irrational reason balled up in your belly and brain, your spine like a fist and for gawd sakes (fgs), not on this perfect summer evening. not at this stage of the game are you going to change direction because of a man sitting in his big truck. fgs you’re not going to give up your space, your trail, your path or walk; your momentum for a man in a truck. dammit, not vain at forty-two, either. not too vain, anyhow. and so you walk right there into the unknown and of course. of course, of course fgs and dammit a shimmer outta the corner of your eye a shimmer a shine a shine of a truck door opening. oh for gawd–he’s getting out of his truck and you don’t even have time to Not Look before holy lord tunderin’ sweet mary n’ jesus nanabush and all the feminists who’ve informed your thinking fgs the man. inini. he’s just there. solid. Just. There. he’s magnificent. you don’t even have to stare or have him in your full line of vision to know. you see the contours and feel the energy. keep walking breathe woman because fgs what a man! keep walking fgs with just a little tiny brief eye contact. keep walking and fgs are you really gonna ‘howah’ here in public. well just a little teeny quiet one. just real ever quiet hoooowah beneath your breath because you have to you have to hooowah that little jolt of energy back out into the universe. you have to give something back. you have to and hooowah, your disciplined woman heart is literally beating faster, weak in the knees, blood rushing to your face that man. you look around. who the hell made that man? oh for frigs sakes, now you’re walking and grinning. you’re forty two and walking with a grin on your face like an amazing, brilliant school girl. but you’re not that young, you’re old enough to technically go tell him ‘hi’ and ‘howah, you’re just beautiful’. give him a smile and a thank-you. hoooowah. you could because forty-two year old Anishinaabe women can do this kind of thing. be just real and honest, real honestly all hooowah. you could do that.

long day of school and sports chased with freshly bake chocolate chip banana muffins. so fresh out of the oven any man could smell them as a mom walks by just close, a twinkle and slight grin in her step.