|had a dozen foster parents|
| tell me to run from my mother’s truth,|
flee from the tread marks up her arm
& shy away from the streets
|they said ate her alive.|
| wasn’t until i had rewilded|
unto the very streets
that i recognized that it kept her alive.
| harm came from |
the môniyâw men
lurking in the alleys asking for something more
(like ligament or limb)
to wrap their fleshy
digits around nehiyawkwe throat
squeeze life like pressing
orange for juice.
|most of my mom’s sisters are dead|
| like her too now— |
caught in the crosshairs
of murdered or missing;
| their children are working |
& i make sure to say hello to my cousins,
we all picked up our mothers’
| i have become a regular at the funeral parlour on Hastings.|
burying parent & child every other week.
|don’t have tears left once home, save them|
|for longer nights|
| remember there are NDN children |
who need to eat still.
| i ran onto Main and Hastings |
cried out in anguish, this place called cold
| called heartless |
called monster & maw
| was never the culprit & the blame was never to be |
my mother’s or her sisters—
|rather machines of genocide|
| placed here by |
the illegal government voted in
by our now neighbours.
| i’ve found truth: |
the mythos was fabricated;
& there will always be
funerals to attend,
NDN children to feed.