biidaaban

by Samantha Martin-Bird

Samantha Martin-Bird is a citizen of Peguis First Nation, currently living on the north shore of Lake Superior. Her poems blend anishinaabemowin and nêhiyawêwin to tell stories about love and the land. Martin-Bird was a winner of the Indigenous Voices Awards in 2021 and has work forthcoming in Room and CV2.

he texts me
                    egwa mooka’am
                    gaandoo-waabandaamin

really zhagaanash says
                    come watch the
                    sunrise with me

giizis peers
                    over gichigami
                    over nanabijou

the fog of our breath
like the mist on the lake

he brings coffee the way i like
avocado egg toast sandwiches

i offer sage from last summer
gifts of cedar

he prays to a foreign god
                    a miserable manidoo
                    a colonial divinity

i lead him to the shore
offer asemaa
                    to him
                    to the lake

gichigami looks me dead in the eye
whispers

                    gaawiin aweti ininiwish

gichigami means it

                    not this fucking dude


Samantha Martin-Bird is a citizen of Peguis First Nation, currently living on the north shore of Lake Superior. Her poems blend anishinaabemowin and nêhiyawêwin to tell stories about love and the land. Martin-Bird was a winner of the Indigenous Voices Awards in 2021 and has work forthcoming in Room and CV2.

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