READ INDIGENOUS: Hiraeth

October 24, 2018

In Hiraeth (Inanna Publications), novelist, poet, playwright, visual artist, and musician Carol Rose Daniels writes a collection of poems that reaches to other women to lend and share strength. The triumphant featured poem below, "Unravelling Threads," and others in the collection continue Daniels' literary work chronicling the Sixties Scoop, where Indigenous children were taken from their families under the guise of social services and adopted out to settlers.

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Keep up all October long as we read, share, and discover Indigenous authors and works.

 

 

From  Hiraeth by Carol Rose Daniels (Inanna Publications)

 

 

Unravelling Threads

  

Call yourself a mother?

 

yet
could never bring yourself
to hold
this little brown hand
in public

 

always qualifying 
with the words

 

she’s adopted

 

spoken hurriedly 
ashamedly

 

What will the neighbours think?

 

oh they better watch out
those Indians are nothing but trouble 
will probably be a hooker by the time she’s 12
don’t let your kids play with her
she probably has lice they all do you know

 

no childhood should know
too many fist fights
trying to erase 
the shameful word of squaw
while you sit on the sidelines 

 

years later 
I hear the drum
out of your reach 
you have no control
it touches that beautiful part of my soul

 

a place where your cracks begin to show
and all the lies you told me have to go

 

I am brown
a Cree and proud
I sing strong
you cover your ears
to a truth 
you do not want to hear

 

I am tired of pretending to be
someone I am not

 

I have found my spirit

 

and move forward
to the place I belong 
away from your noise
and into the song

 

I shall dance

 

 * * *

The Author

 

Carol Daniels author photo

Carol Rose Daniels is Cree/Dene with roots in Sandy Bay, northern Saskatchewan. She is a published novelist, poet, playwright, visual artist, and musician. She is the author of the award-winning novel Bearskin Diary (2015). A second novel, Narrows of Fear, is forthcoming in 2018. As a visual artist, her work has been exhibited in art galleries across Saskatchewan and Northern Canada. As a musician, a CD of women’s drum songs, in which Carol is featured, was recently nominated for a Prairie Music Award. Before pursuing her art on a full-time basis, Carol worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in television and radio at APTN, CTV, and CBC. She lives in Regina.

 

 

* * *

 

Remember: buy  Hiraeth or any of our  READ INDIGENOUS books and get this stunning limited-run tote bag featuring colourful artwork from Indigenous visual artists Kaya Joan, Alan Syliboy, Dawn Oman, and Lauren Crazybull until November 15th (while supplies last). And don't forget to check out today's other READ INDIGENOUS feature,  Death by Dinosaur by Jacqueline Guest (Coteau Books).

 

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