Splitting Worlds


Finalist for the 2016 Walrus Poery Prize

Wenesh aw? Who is that?
I know her not, the girl she is
hard lines drawn by a
world that forced her
conformation, and built
a smooth, clear border
between her inside
and out.
HI hey hey hey, HEY hey hi…

Wenesh aw? Who is that?
the girl within, features
once strong and clear,
fading the well-formed
warrior of her past into
a cloudy cream of loss,
of falling, fragmented links.
HI hey hey hey, HEY hey hi…

Nmaanaadendam, I’m sad
I cannot take her back,
cannot reclaim her robust
beginnings, full of a rich fern-
green heritage and deep,
sweet fruits of ancestors’
lineage, in an earth untorn
by cultural clear-cutting.
HI hey hey hey, HEY hey hi…

Aabiish Eshaad? Where is she going?
but to find the roots to
her grandmothers.
To reawaken the hazy faces and
soft, rubbed out pathways
to her distinct identity in this world
of splitting.
HI hey hey hey, HEY hey hi…

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER. Get the weekly roundup from The Walrus, a collection of our best stories, delivered to your inbox. Learn More »

Elsewhere on TheWalrus.ca