When I asked my mother
If she could remember
What her mother's mother called December
Before the Black-Robed religious reformers
Named it LittleSpritMoon
After their BabyJesus
She put her open hand
To her own lips
Shook her head
Said we are better off
If we do not remember those things.
* * *
From Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (University of Arizona Press, 2011).
Used with permission.
* * *
Lois Beardslee, of the Ojibwe and Lacandon peoples, is the author of Lies to Live By, Rachel's Children, Not Far Away, and The Women's Warrior Society. Beardslee also preserves traditional Ojibwe art forms, including porcupine quillwork, sweetgrass basketry, and birch bark biting. She is an instructor in communications at Northwestern Michigan College.
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