Sipu Asuwakana (River Songs)

2018-10-14T16:54:41+00:00 September 4th, 2018|

By D.A. Lockhart

       Chikënëmwi Sipu

Listen as the creek trickles past sugar
maple creek bends, this steady amble
along pressure-treated fences, under salt
bleached overpasses, each current bubble
and twirl a constricted muscle twitch
reaching through manoomin-starved bends
pushes you downstream along fallow fields
and buried campsites. Know that water finds
ways through creation as it must, drawn by
gravity, as it tumbles downgrade through
emerging subdivisions, past storm drain outlets,
along asphalt concessions. It warbles. It trills.
In song for what is absent, Kuhemena coaxes
this rivulet onward into the great river beyond.

 

       Kwikwinkëm Sipu

Last of the Tiononati Nation retreated
south from here, over the bank to oak
desks of the British Indian Department.
Waters slow like a point at elevation,
but even the prairie horizon, quiet
gentile hints at stillness, each slow drip
an enfranchisement that ends bloodlines,
declares that what shall come far
outweighs all that proceeded. Know
names recede in tongues twisted
with bare-knuckled treaties rather
than even push of creation itself.
Despite all manner we are called
the land recalls our touch, lingers in wait.

 

 

D.A. Lockhart is the author of The Gravel Lot that was Montana (Mansfield Press, 2018), This City at the Crossroads (Black Moss Press, 2017), and Big Medicine comes to Erie (Black Moss Press, 2016). His work has been generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. He is a citizen of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation, is a turtle clan of the Lunaapeew, and currently resides at Waawiiyaatanong, on the south shore of the Detroit River.

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