Written in Anishinaabemowin and translated by Margaret O’Donnell Noodin

Gigii-aadawaa’awimin zagapizoyang
We have gone sailing untethered
dibishkoo anangoog agoozowaad giizhigong
like stars hung in the sky
ishkwaa Naagaanizid-anang miinawaa Waaban-anang
after Mercury and Venus
jibwaa Miskwaa-anang miinawaa Zhaawan-anang
before Mars and Jupiter
trying to remember
izhi’omagag gashkiiwegibagiiwin
the shape of the cocoon
inigokwaag asab
the size of the net
ezhi-madwesing debweyang
the sound of our own truth
ganabaj aabiding miinawaa
which might once again
aabitoojiinidizoyang omaa
hold us in place.
We are caught.
We catch.
We become eternity.
We are within.


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Margaret O’Donnell Noodin is professor of English and associate dean of the humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and two collections of poetry in Anishinaabemowin and English, Weweni and What the Chickadee Knows. To hear her work, visit