we are not the first generation to lose forests
as trees were slain for ships and forts
l’nu hunters were refused entry to their territory
fracturing livelihoods and continuity
in this landscape there have been many ends of the world
as one knows it
parents mourned children at the edges of cliffs
guardians became chained to bottles
to know the stories
as story carriers do
is to constantly taste scars where the wounds
had long punctured through
people already devastated by massacres of forests
each new generation’s lost battle to save trees
too many centuries of someone’s world in pieces
let’s tend to the forests like prophets
encourage them to wilder in old growth
and watch them mature into being
shalan joudry is a Mi’kmaw storyteller and poet from the traditional district of Kespukwitk (southwest Nova Scotia).
Currently, shalan lives with her family in their home community of L’sitkuk (Bear River First Nation).
Waking Ground is her second book of poetry. It was published earlier this year by Gaspereau Press.
raising forests is published with the kind permission of the author and the publisher.
See also: Mourning song. A poem by Shalan Joudry
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