Poem: Naaminitigong, Niizh Migizi

Reckless stories,
Shaking hands,
Do you see the poverty?

I am tired,
Tired,
Tired,
Tired of not being seen,
Native,
Indigenous identities,
Explored,
Delved,
Developed,

Please stop romanticizing our past,
Present,
And future,

The child was crying,
Mom and Dad were fighting,
The youth got pushed back,
Pushed down,
Beaten down,
Scale,
Statistics looked over,

My heart is achy,
Ancestral lands,
Environmental pollution,
Environmental racism,
Rez town,
Studied in books at universities,
While lived out,
Breathed out,
Lungs in pain,
Poverty,
Addiction,
The tearing of abuse on the spirit,

Someone let us down,
Someone gave up on me,
Said I am Native American,
But didn't say my tribe,
Didn't say anything about my teachings,
Traditions,
Dances,
Foods,
Ceremonies,
Lumped me into a group,

I was crying over the wood stove,
Chipping paint off my clothes while walking down the street,
Romaticization of our teachings,
Romanticization of who we are,
I've cried enough tears,
While the culture looks on,
Ignores me,
Ignores us,
Romanticization of who we are today hurts us,

Poverty is dirty blinds unopened,
Untouched,
The old carpet,
Poverty is the yellow haze,
Depression from oppression,
Crying tears alone,
Darkness pervades,
Addiction gripes you, 

Your dark spirit,
Ancestors want you to heal,
The darkness is not yours but the pain the trauma,
Carried and past,
From the generations,
While our hands sought our traditional territories,
Horrifying situations were placed in our hands,

Ancestors crying,
Ancestors feeling,
Ancestors assisting,
Ancestors all around in a circle,

Let me see your spirit,
May it come to me with no shame.