Walk With Me by Nigig (Otter)

Today we walk to the top of Duluth.
As we walk the earth
we watch highway construction.
Workers are swearing and screaming
“Red Bulls! Gas station hotdogs!”

They cut the earth open.
And the earth bleeds her life.
Proud of what they have paved,
we overhear them.
“Git her done,” they say twice.
“Git her done.”
We walk on.

Hesitant steps from what we just witnessed,
we stop.

We see this little bee,
her little spirit tired and dying.
I lift her softly from her battle,
you cup her little body next to your heart.
I whisper, “Pity me.”
In a seasoned warrior’s accent,
this is how she speaks to you and me:
“I do not fear death. There is no need to save me.
I belong to every storm, rock, and tree.”
You carry her to the grass as she absorbs her last breath.
Together we witness this tiny warrior
dying a warrior’s death.
We walk on.

Getting closer to the top of Duluth
near Skyline Parkway
we see a man taking photos.
So, we move out of his way.
We overhear him say,
“Man, isn’t this beautiful?”
We think to ourselves but want to say,
“Shit, imagine what it used to be.”
We walk on.

Finally, your foot is on top of Duluth.
Together we stand,
holding our breath
to listen for the air.
The sounds of the Earth crying
and warriors dying fill our ears.
You squeeze your eyes to see the distance
and relax your vision to catch a tear.
From up here we can see it all.
That highway is almost done.

Man, isn’t it beautiful?


Bringing Joy: A Local Literary Welcome Copyright © 2021 by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. All Rights Reserved.

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