Come and learn.
Come, drum and sing.
But the moment family needs you,
Then you were just “chasing bling”.
Come join the circle.
There’s space for everyone.
Receive teachings from the elders.
But don’t you hoard it, young one.
Creator made each of us,
And gave us all different gifts to share.
You are refining your strengths—but
You want to teach with those gifts? Don’t you dare.
Connect with spirit.
Listen with your heart.
This wisdom was passed on to us,
Now is the time to do your part.
I do this awkward dance,
I learn as much as I can.
I had no choice in the matter of being born
A white girl, and later becoming a white man.
What am I to do?
Everthing I learn, I strive to integrate.
Whatever I do, and whatever I say,
Because I’m white, you think I misappropriate.
The more I learn,
The more my eyes are opened wider.
My own people went through this, too.
The strength of my ancestors is what makes me a fighter.
Before there were reserves,
My people were locked behind gates.
Before residential schools,
Ghettos, slavery, and the threat of the gulags sealed all our fates.
Call it ancient history,
But just a few decades have passed
Since my blood relations arrived here,
Running for their lives–and they were running fast.
Some had false passports.
My mother’s maiden name is fake.
They changed their names several times,
To erase the way back, no matter what it would take.
I remember my grandfathers’ accents,
And my grandmother’s too.
Tiny fragments of entire lifetimes passing through their lips.
Violent military occupations I have kept to myself while listening to you.
I do continuous work
To keep myself teachable.
I continue my walk in both worlds daily.
I ache to see my homelands, so far in my life, unreachable.
I will be stronger tomorrow,
But I am hurting today.
I am struggling with my feelings and trying to respect yours
As I shed my tears, sing my songs, and pray.