“Grandmother hope and wishes”
Grandmother hope and wishes.
A Poem by Coyote Poetry
I lost my Ojibwa Grandmother in 1981. She had a hard life. You would never know. She loved her children and wanted them to know freedom.
Dear Grandmother was a kind woman.
She was took from her reservation as a young child.
They cut her hair and re-name her.
Her eyes would become sad if I asked her about her youth.
She would tell me. Leave the bad times forgotten. Old hate need to be forgotten.
Grandmother would chant for me and my sisters. My baby sister’s would dance in circles.
I never knew the meaning of the chants. She knew so many.
The songs brought joy to her voice watching my sister’s dance and laugh.
Grandma followed the Native American path.
Drank too much trying to hide disappointment with alcohol.
She met my Step-Grandfather who shown her love and gave her a safe place to rest and be free.
She did not like the white man way. She held on to her old belief.
She would come daily and pick me and my sister up.
Take us to the park and let us run free and wild.
She told me. “You have Ojibwa land in your name. This is your responsibility. The wolf and bear must have a place to be free. If you are lucky. You can learn to live in peace with nature.”
I learn too late to learn more of my Grandmother life.
I believe she wanted the old memories dead and forgotten.
She lived for us children and her son.
I had to go out west. Find kind elders to show me the right path.
They showed me. I needed to be proud of the Ojibwa blood.
I learn many herbal cures from my Grandmother.
I tried to learn more from the old Apaches and I listen and read.
I learn many Native Americans live with pain and hardships.
They don’t want the Government money, education or way of life.
They want to be left alone. They want their land to be safe from greed and pollution.
I have become like my Grandmother.
I take my Grandchildren to the park.
Allow them to run free.
I show them the beauty of nature and the animals.
I teach them not to fear or harm life.
My Grandmother was took from her home.
They cut her hair. Made her speak English. Wasn’t allowed to speak her language.
She held on to her heritage. She taught me.
We must know freedom and we must decide our own journey.
Water, earth and sky is our friend.
Animals of the forest and water need a place to be free and safe.
I burn the sage. I give thanks to my elders gone.
I give thanks to the sun that give me light, the water that give me life and the soil that create
food for me to eat. I pray my children and all children have a safe place to live, food to eat and home to go to.
Grandmother wanted her children to be free. I follow her path in love.
Love for family kept her sane and strong.
I learn from many wise teachers.
This is one planet and one people.
We must protect the natural resources.
I tell all people. Be proud of where you came from.
Heritage is very important. We are built by thoughts of elders.
A wise Native American saying.
“Grandparent are the builder of the future. Teach the children well. They will lead
our world one day.”
Thank you for reading.