kisēpīsim – the great moon – january
i’ve had this dream more than once.
i’m standing where the rivers meet
i’m surrounded by faces that have features like mine
they speak our language and point with their lips.
i can’t understand what they’re saying
mikisiwipīsim – the eagle moon – february
you told me.
but so did you.
niskipīsim – the goose moon – march
i’m trying to find pieces of a home
i’ve never been to
in the fragmented stories i hear
in the in-between space of waking and sleeping
ayikīpīsim – the frog moon – april
there is a plant that grows by maskēkwāpoy
i forget its name.
but they look the same
the nameless plant is poisonous.
pick your leaves carefully.
sākipakāwipīsim – the egg laying moon – may
when my kokum smiles
the wrinkles that gather at the corner of her eye
leading me home.
opāskāwewowipisim- the egg hatching moon – june
i’ve noticed the same fine lines
at the corner of my mother’s eyes
i hope the same lines
form for me.
opaskowipīsim – the moulting moon – july
my kokum told me a story of hungry spirits at manito sahkahigan.
she says she saw them sitting on a blanket in the bush.
they asked for food.
she went to get them something to eat and looked back
they were gone.
ohpahowipīsim – the flying up moon – august
loneliness and hunger feel the same
maybe we are looking for an offering.
onōcihtowipīsim – the mating moon – september
“please close the curtains at night”
“so the spirits can’t get in”
pimihāwipīsim – the migrating moon – october
i’ve been spending a lot of time
trying to stretch hands
to fit mine.
ihkopiwipīsim – the frost moon – november
i shouldn’t have said that.
i take it back.
pawacakinasīsipīsim – the frost exploding trees moon – december
when the trees get too cold they explode and shatter
sprinkling the snow with slivers of their insides.
i’ve missed the sound since moving here.
it’s a reminder of what can happen.