love poem series

ka paǂkinin̓tik
or 
there are things our women have taught me:

1. give generously without worrying where more will come from;
2. laugh deep and hard with each other more than you cry;
3. learn everything you can and teach it freely;
4. know where you are going and go all the way-get the doctoral degree, get on council, hell, don’t stop there, you can be nasukin-you can lead your nation;
5. speak softly walk gently rock your babies to sleep;
6. raise your voice in song or anger-never be silent in the face of injustice;
7. feed everyone, including yourself;
8. light the fires, call in the drums, join hands-you never know when you’ll need a friend-honour your relations;
9. share the good stories alongside the tough ones-share whatever story feels right, especially the sexy ones-on that note, fall in love and celebrate every orgasm;
10. hold your loved ones close and breath in the scent of them;
11. grieve loss as deeply as you love, without shame or fear;
12. carry the hearts of your sisters your grandmothers your daughters born or yet to come your aunties and nieces and cousins-carry them in your heart;
13. keep going. This is not the end.

 

a love poem to your great great grandmother

ka titinaǂa
the one that started it all
though i have a feeling you’d say
there was another before you

but this poem is for you
whose prayers were so strong
done in just the right way
hidden away in a drawer
for so many years waiting

for the right moment
the right granddaughter
the right ceremony
right is the wrong word for this
maybe i believe in
ordination
if only when i think of you

when i think of him
here with us
breathing
typing out his own love poems
honouring

husukiǂq̓ukni
thank you
for bringing all that you have
for saving my life
for sharing your family
your teachings
your presence

thank you for praying us here

 

a love poem to myself

oh, my dear
we’ve been through a lot
so much has changed

thank you
for not giving up
thank you
for giving some things up
thank you
for working to keep
relationships with so many
of the best damn people
in this world

thank you for learning
thank you for fucking up
thank you for

well
no
falling down sucked
especially that last time
but i guess
then
i should thank you
for getting back up

thank you for your poems
thank you for your smiles
thank you for the tears and
especially the laughter

thank you for the love

poems originally published on Smokii Sumac’s Facebook page January 20-23, 2017 (right around the time of Trump’s inauguration)

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