Kwísteqw7am Woman

Most of my writing has a nature theme to it. I think that’s how I’ve been able to live such a full life. I’ve certainly faced my challenges, and there are many times I fall into that dreamless void where I numb myself and try to forget the trauma I’ve experienced and the hate towards the systems that imposed those traumas on me. But I always come back. I come back when I remember who I am, and who I am meant to become. I am a young woman, with many supporters, and protectors. I have an army of ancestors behind me, who will guide me, and takes my tears away if I just remember that they are there, and remember what they fought for, even through the challenges and injustices that they faced. I am a child of the moon. I am made of water, and star dust, and the blood of my ancestors. My spirit is connected to something beautiful, and powerful. That’s what this poem is about. I apologize I don’t always translate. In this poem the translations are all in their same lines. If you have the Lil’wat dictionary you can do the translation, and that way learn a bit of Ucwalmícwts.

Kwísteqw7am, he said “you’re emotional,

you’re like a waterfall,

and I just want to stand beneath you”

reflecting a summer sky blue

Wa kwis! when did I start pouring?

elders say it’s better to do it in the morning

then wash your away your tears

and let go of your fears

Tswaw̓cw, river woman going too fast

crazy to see how much time has passed

how far I am from home

without it, I feel so alone

It̓em, so I sing to my Ancestors

who, despite the oppressors

stayed strong, and they take my pain away

tell me they love me, and I’m going to be okay

Lil’watmc, protectors of the Land between three rivers

we women are life givers

our spirits are angry at what is being done to tmicw,

we ucwalmicwa,

learned better from our grandmas and grandpas

Xexzúmal̓k, I’m now on a land with big waves

Far from my ancestors’ graves

But I can still feel them in the hawhawláncw

They love me, nxwezíl̓tem

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