Journey With Me: A Poem for the Indigenous Man

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Walk with me

I have been taught to leave a space for you

I was told that our moccasins will travel down the trail way together

And we will journey as one

*

Before I understood this,

I had learned to keep you at a distance

If I wanted to hang on to my safety

Experience said

That you could.. and you would… and you did break me

Cutting me up with your tongue and your hands

Severing me like our peoples traditional lands

When they were split up by those who refused to understand

Do you realize it was not I that took from you

What you needed to be a man?

*

In this new place,

We no longer knew the geography

Of each other’s spirits

Could not walk gently

And love softly

Without crashing into each other like thunderclaps

Did not know how to navigate the new terrain

So I said I did not need you

Would not need you…. Ever again

*

But I see now

over the passage of trials and time

I need you to walk with me

Journey with me by my side

*

Don’t you see nechimos

The colonial objective has won

When we fail to find a home in each other

We are of the same making

Laterally violent lightening

Struck us both in the same place

More than once

In different ways

It’s current has passed through generations

Your anger and frustrations

Are not uniquely yours

They were given to you

Handed down from the forefathers of colonization

Designed to interrupt your necessary role

In rebuilding the nations

But don’t come unglued

Don’t falter, don’t step back, don’t second guess

Don’t harm, don’t hurt, don’t forget

*

that

*

every lodge needs it’s warrior

every family it’s protector

every child it’s father

When we heal… we bring that medicine back to our people

And now is our time

So take my hand

And journey with me by my side

*

Walk with me

I have left a    s  p  a  c  e   for you

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