Poems

SAMANTHA MARTIN-BIRD
the star

i told the nishinaabe parliamentarian

Rainraini like this journalist with
Rainraingolden curls
Rainrainpure heart

Rainrainrainrainhe traces the contours of my back

Rainrainrainrainrainrainningikenimaa; i give ‘em stories now n den
Rainrainrainrainrainrainhe’s young but 
Rainrainrainrainrainrainhe’ll get dere

i told the hunter from maliotenam

Rainrainj’aime ce journaliste
Rainrainc’est le petit prince
Rainrainattentionné et fidèle

Rainrainrainrainhe bites my neck and growls

Rainrainrainrainrainrainas-tu oublié le tigre?   

i told the chief from treaty 9

Rainraini like this little prince
Rainrainhe’s curious and kind

Rainrainrainrainhe kisses my collar bone and whispers

Rainrainrainrainrainrainayaangwaamizin!
Rainrainrainrainrainrainhe has endless questions
Rainrainrainrainrainrainbut does he ever answer yours?

i told le chasseur innu

Rainrainj’aime ce petit prince
Rainrainmais je suis une herbe
Rainrainavec quatre épines

Rainrainrainrainhe undresses me

Rainrainrainrainrainraintu es une rose née en même temps que le soleil

Rainrainrainrainexhales in my ear

Rainrainrainrainrainrainqui ne t’aime pas?


Notes:

anishinaabemowin phrases: 

ningikenimaa: I know them
ayaangwaamizin – be careful 

« tu es née en même temps que le soleil » comes from p. 33 « Le Petit Prince »

Samantha Martin-Bird is a poet living on the north shore of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She was a 2021 winner of the Indigenous Voices Awards, and her work has appeared in Room and Contemporary Verse 2.