Tapānetowak-Zaagi’idiwag

Tapānetowak-Zaagi’idiwag

Wa͞ewa͞enen ‘s pīqtaweya͞ek.
For so long I was lost
I drifted through the world.
Disconnected.
I knew where I wanted to go
knew what I wanted to be
but felt as though I was miles from it.

But then you came to me
Ocīpūhkiw.
Sent as if by the stars
you brought fire back to my world.
You came as medicine.
You rekindled my hope
my courage
and my strength.
Your voice called
to a part of my spirit
I had forgotten was there.
You called to me
because you could hear me.

Netānamehām
I am thankful
more than I could ever tell you.
I am thankful that you found me.
That we found each other
in the midst of all that surrounds us.
Two Indians
reaching out to touch each other.
Across borders.
As if across time itself.

It is like Qwo-Li Driskill says:
I walk out of genocide to touch you.
We walk out of genocide to touch each other
and in those moments that feel like forever
I feel the beginning
of a return.

The return of our languages
our lands
our cultures
our histories
our futures.

In those moments-that-become-eternity
the pain
and the weight of colonization
becomes lighter.
The rage fades
and the bitterness in my calumet bleeds away.
There are no more borders
through Nayaano-Nibiimaang Gichigamiin
and I am no longer in canada.
I am no longer in america.

I am in Anishinaabewaki
I am in Omaeqnomenew-Ahkew
I am in Ixachilan
and I am in Yóok’ol Kaab.

Everything tastes of sūpomāhkwapoh
and manōmaeh.
I can smell giizhik and kākākemen
chīlli and xococochitl.
I can stretch out
and touch Cahokia
Teotihuacán
Qusqu
Mooningwanekaaning-Minis.
I feel as though I become the shores
and the sand
from Waabanakiing to Xamayca.
English begins to fade away
becoming first mōhkomānēweqnaesen
and then
slowly
Anishinaabemowin
Oma͞eqnomenēw-Kīketwan.

Latin letters transform
into Maya glyphs
and Algonquin syllabics.
Computers become Quipu.
Cellphones
Nohya.

The cities begin to disappear
and in their place:
Ancient pyramids
Trading centres
Villages
Orchards
The Great Plains
traversed
by herds of free Maskūtiah-Pesa͞ehkiw

I can hear our drums
our rattles
our dancing
and our singing.

I feel so good, because I am home.
Home at last here with you.
In those moments I can feel power
all around us.
The power to exist.
The power to resist.
The power to heal
and the power to change.

I know this is the dream of the ancestors.
And it is all love
All love in those moments.

Because of you I know I will never give up.
Because of you
I know I can never give up.

Nesāwa͞enemekōwesewen.
Wa͞ewa͞enen ‘s pīqtaweya͞ek.
Ketapanen,

Nēnemōhsaew.

Advertisements