This is the poem
you couldn’t write
They took away
the relations – itahkomitowin
(I can only remember kôkhom and mushum)
They took away the stories – miywâcimowina
The conversations – âcimostakewin
But only for so long
the Ancestors – wahkomâkanak – remind us
listen they say, watch for us
These are the words
that belong to you –
Questions and Answers
Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?
I began to write poetry as far back as age 12. I have at least 50 journals filled with prose and poems.
How/where do you find inspiration today?
Today, I find inspiration from focusing on my identity as an Indigenous person and reclaiming knowledge that was denied to me in my younger years.
What inspired or motivated you to write this poem?
I was inspired to write this poem as a form of reclaiming language and expressing the re-acquisition of Indigenous experiences.
What poetic techniques did you use in this poem? How much attention do you pay to form and metre?
It was challenging to incorporate Indigenous language after generational loss. I felt both insecure and owed the right to at least try to use an Indigenous language.