omisa

i came here with razorblades hidden under my tongue hidden between my legs hidden between my knuckles we were never taught how to be soft and tender or how to find ourselves by using another’s veins as a map i came here with med’cines that are older than time planted beneath my eyelids we were…

kīkīwin

when you’re in the bush look for dead spruce grey and leaning sideways that’s where the muskeg is i’m at renfrew waiting for the bus to bring me to the final witnessing event apparently i’m supposed to heal today muskeg will swallow a human whole moose have sunk to the bottom so i’m told so…

pākahamakew

you have to soak the elk hide overnight. i have a stack of half-finished love letters that i have written to my body that all begin and end with the same word i’m not sure if i’m apologizing to myself or to someone else. you have to work the hide to make it soft rub…

nitotem,

  i can narrow it down to the last minute we talked i could probably tell you – what constellation i was standing under as you told me about the last three years of your life that i wasn’t invited into but that’s ok. i don’t fault you for it. we worked hard to stretch…

poem 5.

  “i’m almost there, five stops away” Commercial. McLean. Clark. Glen. Hawks. i’m minutes away from where the blood mixes & where i’m going to spend the next four hours exploring the shapes of acquaintances, beer, & cigarettes. if i close my eyes i can picture the road to my grandma’s house: head down 97N,…

mīkiwām

i’m beginning to learn that home isn’t where your heart is. i still have the key to my kokum’s old house, the one she lived in for years before my grandpa walked on. the house was old, held together by laughter and fights and loud Cree shouted through the telephone. the table in the kitchen,…

sīpiy

so i guess this is where we’re at. i’ve stretched your fingers apart for miles trying to see what rivers flow through them but instead all that exists in those spaces are wastelands. you can’t catch water with gaps like yours. i’ve followed the lines on your palm like traplines looking for something that i’m…

pipon

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. i…

a letter to Joseph Boyden

tan’si Joseph, My name is Samantha; I am a Cree-Metis woman. My family comes from Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, but I grew up in Treaty 8 territory in Northeastern British Columbia.  I am writing this letter to you while I live on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. I am constantly humbled…

āstam

come here. apih (sit down). it’s winter time now we can tell stories the spirits are resting they won’t follow us home. tell me yours. rest your head on my lap. i’ll braid your hair like wihkask. i’m trying to be open with you but you don’t understand how hard it is when your mother…

ceremony

  hold the braid like this. here use this to light it. we’re not supposed to use a lighter? shit.uh. just use it anyways. is it going? ok. so rub your hands together like this. now push the smoke down your body. are we doing this right? how can we tell if we are doing…

nihtawikiwin

ask me – what is your origin story?   i think i was created from my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s anger   let me tell you – the stories of struggles lost in this bed in the streets beneath street lights in the middle of winter when the sun only rises for three hours a…