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Margaret Sam Cromarty's poetry

I Am an Indian

I am the one that respects nature.
I am the one that dances with fire.
I am the one born of thunder.
I am the one that understands living things.
I am the one that speaks of pride.
I am the one that lives with the land.
I am the one of the earth.
I am the one that weeps.
I am the one that guards my race.
I am the one that walks with the Great Spirit.
I am the one they call Indian.
I am Indian of many nations.

Margaret Sam Cromarty (1990)

 

Ballad of a River

The River Chisasibi
In grey and blue
A happy river
Once, long ago.

Times changed,
Struggles came.
The courts agreed
Dam the river
For kilo watt power.

The happy river was lost.
It weeps now.
It seeks
golden sands.

The Chisasibi River
Its soul calling
Hears the old people
no more. Voices
The wind has tongues
A lady speeks
meekly

A cry of terror
It's only the wind's voice
Frightening
my beating heart

Silent weeping
A wind warming
Voices
Of my elders

Margaret Sam Cromarty (1991)

 

A Legend About A Bark Teepee

Few heard this legend
about an orphaned boy
living with his grandmother,
Their home a tall bark teepee.

Their bark teepee stood
by the edge of the woods.
In early dusk
The evening star shone alone.

The old grandmother,
her eyesight dim,
knew how to build a bark teepee
Like the palm of her hand.

Having no worldly goods,
they traveled far and wide,
through spring rains
And summer heat.

When the winds blew
they braved the cold
in their bark teepee,
soft skins their bed.

Old grandmother
the boy said one day
We lived side by side
in our bark teepee with only the sky above.

We must move on,
my frail grandmother,
closer to the setting sun.
Many times I've watched it turn to gold.

The old grandmother smiled.
She spoke in her tongue
About a tale.
My adopted grandson, she said,

One day fishing on a lake
a shape caught my eye.
Like a proud river
Stood your mother.

She moved like a whirlwind
an enchanting lady.
And like a winter sun so cold,
she left without a word.

Behind her was a splash of colour,
a dancing little sunbeam.
It was lost and alone.
It felt at home in my bark teepee.

I grow old now.
Go my adopted grandson.
You are the dancing sunbeam
Travelling through the sky.

With a touch of sadness
The orphan boy listened,
Knew his adopted grandmother's
agony.

Grandmother!
The orphan's voice trailed away.
From the morning sun to the setting sun
Will stand tall bark teepees.

These are the future skyscrapers.

Margaret Sam Cromarty (1984)