Land Acknowledgment

Wondering what the name for this rock
would be in Nipmuc, or rather

what the name for this rock is
in Nipmuc. I seek a Nipmuc word

for how our daily chatter
aligns with the land’s desire

to be known, to include us in its 
conversations with itself and all else.

What was the Nipmuc word for how it was
between us and the land 

before Whiteness came,
stopped the world

and divided it into two categories:
resources and obstacles?

It’s a gap in me, a failing,
that I do not know. 

It’s my shame
that I want that healing spoon fed to me.

As if the Nipmuc word alone
would save me trouble and give me more time

in time to avoid
the trouble.

I am seeking their magic now,
doing the colonizer thing:

asking for Nipmuc to save me
after all I have done

on behalf of genocide
simply by living as I do.

There are people 
who could tell me

the Nipmuc words for everything,
or so I’ve heard,

but since I’m here and alone
and this is where the rock is

I lie down ear first to listen to it.
No idea of what language it may use

if it chooses to speak to me. No idea
if I’ll be able to pronounce it with this tongue.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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