NaPoWriMo2021 Day 11

Today the challenge was to write a letter and response poem.


A Poem to The Next Generation

Part 1 - The Letter

My Dearest Aponi,
Learn to keep the old ways;
stay connected to earth—
to life, to death, to birth—
put your heart into praise,

and memorize the ancient
prayer of our people:

“i’ll sing the song of earth
the song of soil and sweat
the song of toil and threat
of insect and of curse.

i’ll clean out leaves and weeds
cut back the barren stalks
clear the path where we walk,
where soon we sow the seeds.”

Remember, dearest Aponi:
Joy begins in the heart,
give gratitude to Manitou
for every breath you take.

With my love,
Nookomis Odina

Part II - The Response

Dear Grandmother,

You must not worry.
I am forever
your little butterfly.
I carry the stories
of our ancestors on my wings.

Thank you for the song,
I will sing it wherever I go.

I will carry with me the song
of sweet grass, of cedar,
of tobacco, and of sage—-
each one a gift from Mother Earth,
nourishing body and spirit.

With joy I will take only
what I can use, building
beauty to the land. You have
taught me well, grandmother,
and I remain grateful.

With love,
Aponi

—A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

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