Friday, March 26, 2010

Poem: Mackinac Bridge

They were building Chrysler,
Way out in the exurbs,
The monster of urban sprawl devoured the land,
To get to the land,
We had to drive,
Far,
45 miles at least,
To the nearest farm,
Field,
Expanse of sky,
To breathe,
Ah,
A field,
Flint,
Saginaw,
Bay City,
Suddenly,
The forest appeared,
Tall trees,
We were on I-75,
Heading North,
Like many Michigander's,
We go "up north,"
But,
We really go "up north,"
And to a place that is ancestrally,
Very important,
Where my Anishinaabe ancestors,
Once roamed freely,
Before the colonizers,
Michigan was a forest,
All of it,
So now,
To get to the forest,
We have to go "up north,"
West Branch,
We've lost 104.3 WOMC by now,
We randomly listen to radio stations that play,
Bluegrass,
Somewhere I feel at home when I hear this,
Already at a young age,
Its "old fashioned,"
Old time,
But it is what they have "up north,"
The Mackinac Bridge nears,
I always get excited,
Its a bridge to my true home,
Anything north of the bridge,
Feels so good for the spirit,
We stay the night in Mackinac City,
We sit at night,
In the car,
After traveling,
Watching the sunset,
Wait for the bridge lights to turn on,
I am in the back seat,
My parents are in front,
My siblings next to me,
I feel small,
Scared,
So much emotion,
I gaze at the lights,
And all the cars passing over the bridge,
I can't really connect to my parents,
In fact,
I am scared of them,
Its a terror to have a mix of love and fear scurrying in your body,
My little body,
The car,
The plastic handle on the door that I touch,
The water and waves,
The lights on the Mackinac Bridge,
Oldies play on the radio,
And we gaze at that bridge like it is a solution,
To the chaos,
Yet,
We can only stay so long,
We start the car,
We drive away,
The Mackinac Bridge we cross in the morning,
Dancing along the shores of Lake Michigan and Superior,
Smokey homes of my relatives,
Spending time at the first Indian casino in the nation,
I swim in the pool,
With my cousins,
Why my parents gamble,
On the rez,
Fries,
Bowling alley,
Rivers,
Marshes,
Cross the Mackinaw Bridge to head "down state,"
Crying in my pillow in the car,
I never wanted to go "home,"
I wanted home.




5 comments:

JoyceAnn said...

Wonderful poem , I can feel the truth. Hope all is well with you.

~ Many Blessings ~

primavera said...

Great.

Anishinaabekwe said...

Joyce & primavera - Thank u! :)

Chester Cheetah said...

I love this. I went to Mackinac Island for the first time in July. It was like a different world. It is a place that will stay in my heart forever. Miigwetch for sharing.

Anishinaabekwe said...

Miigwech for reading Chester Cheetah and glad you like this poem!