we are just

by Rosanna Deerchild

Rosanna Deerchild is a Cree poet and broadcaster from Winnipeg. Her first book, this is a small northern town (Muses Company, 2008) won the Lansdowne Poetry Prize, and her latest collection, calling down the sky (Bookland) is forthcoming this fall. She hosts Unreserved on CBC Radio One and hails from O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation, Manitoba.

we are just: Indian woman
faded black & white
whispers of a long gone past
like horses and fur trading

we are just: your disney porn
girl who wears feathers
dances barefoot across
your screens before inviting
you into our tipis

we are just: a decoration
a symbol of his story
that rides into sunset
slips between sheets
of your status quo

we are just: land
conquered cut into
squares labelled and sold off
as economic development

oh way ya hey ya way ha
I know another story

A re-definition
of your declaration
that we are not here

in this place
you keep trying to take
over but our roots go deeper

her story is earth
where you stand

she is water
your beginning

she is our heart
beat
a re-creation
story that begins
with

a whisper
calling all her names
back

a song
rising drum thrum
thrumming heart beat

a rising
that begins
with

one

voice
rising

my voice
rising

with my
sisters

rising

with my
mother

for my daughters
rising

a rising
arising

my name is
sacred

my name is
iskwew

my name is
not missing

 


Rosanna Deerchild is a Cree poet and broadcaster from Winnipeg. Her first book, this is a small northern town (Muses Company, 2008) won the Lansdowne Poetry Prize, and her latest collection, calling down the sky (Bookland) is forthcoming this fall. She hosts Unreserved on CBC Radio One and hails from O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation, Manitoba.

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