To the Grandmothers living in my bones,
I say: Suwaas?ick ?ah*
At two a.m., in the swirling mist,
when the veil between the worlds is thin,
the Old Ones have been visiting my dreams.
If I awaken too quickly, I sometimes see
a friendly female ghost smiling at me
before she fades away
in the shadowy corner of my room.
Ancestors, I feel your strength
resting in my spine
that's bending towards the earth.
You are holding me up
during my timeworn trek,
as you did the elders on the Long March
along the Trail of Tears.
I feel you in the silence,
whispering entities alive with wisdom,
speaking truth I strain to overhear.
I hear the call of your drums
in my wildish heart,
when I am painting words
on the blank canvas of my screen
to remember my foremothers,
who once were warriors,
who spoke with oracles and owls,
who danced, laughing crones,
barefoot and spirit-filled,
on the earth,
now ghosted in a dream,
of you, I am singing.
Bone of your bone,
from grandmother to grandmother,
in me you still live.
Through me, while I have breath,
your stories will still be told.
To these friendly spirits,
I pay my deep respect,
and say: naniiqsu, kleco**
* means 'this is for you' in the Nuu chah nulth language. ** means Grandmother, Thank You.
posted for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.