Poem: Paint My Face One Half

Paint my face one color,
Paint my face another color,
Paint my face one half,

Draw a picture around me of my spirit,
Coil strands of our interconnectedness throughout my hair,
Dangle stars above my eyes,
Frolic around me with dashing desires,

Refine the story,
Bury the sadness,
Down,
Down,
Down,
Keep on washin' the pan,
Scrubbin',
In hopes that the drain isn't backing up,

Color again my face,
One side male,
One side female,
Two-spirit traditional Nish Kwe Gothic Rose,
Victorian Steampunk Sistah reconciling with this dirty dirt,
Ah!
What has been transmuted?

Divide and quarter up my ancestry,
Think you know me,
Ah!

Listen to the way the sun dances on the water,
The hair drips,
Ringin' out,
Washin' out,
Trickling drops of our Mothers blood onto the Earth,
Green grass grows - soil freshened up!

Taste the bird song as it drifts through the trees,
Listen with your feet,
Listen with your soul,
The ancestors all around are holding you,
Naanan waawaashkeshi,
Nimaamaa,
Ganawaabam,
Giizhik,

Praise the birds,
Praise this land,
The trees have a story,

Articulating drafts and correspondence,
Draw this beautiful picture once more.

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Translations

Naanan - Five
Giizhik - Cedar
Ganawaabam - Look at
Nimaamaa - My Mother
Waawaashkeshi - Deer