“wanisinowin” by Samantha Marie Nock

A recent poem by Samantha Marie Nock, “wanisinowin,” makes me want to read everything else she writes. It is simple and clean in appearance, but shape-shifting and moving as you read it through. It evokes beautiful images and powerful emotions, and at the end it kind of takes my breath away. Check out her original hard beauty, with buffalo, here.

here are some lies i’ve told you today:

  1. i’m fine
  2. it’s ok

you don’t understand what I mean when I say

“but they’re my kin”

maybe it’s because you grew up kicking anthills

you were brought up with generations

that don’t know what it feels like

to run your hands over stretched hide

but they’re my kin

you’re probably confused.

i don’t know if you’ve felt what it’s like

to mourn a stranger

but these strangers aren’t so distant

from faces we recognize

when we go home.

i’m fine

it’s ok

you laugh when i say i can smell the seasons change

but then we wake up to frosty mornings caught in low sunlight

the birds know it will snow soon.

the leaves are starting to point down.

autumn brings grief and the end of huckleberries,

it brings longer nights and brighter moons.

the northern lights are stairways to a…

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