Catapult | Poetry


a steadfast soul-birth, tried and true / this is where you sing creation into being

kokenewapikineyak horizon blush

self-portrait as my mourning breath

this is where you lay to dream

picking sage, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee

self-portrait as the land is your lover

this is where you sing creation into being

counting down the sunsets until you can go back to the land that raised you


Editor’s Note: Tarene Thomas’s “RATIONING SWEETGRASS” places the Cree language in a poetic context in order to do the work of self-making. The oft-used “self-portrait” frame is operationalized differently here, however—not in order to sculpt a singular “I” but rather to put the poet in relation with the larger world, the past, and current and future ancestors. Thomas’s lyric voice is soft and multi-vocal and ultimately returns us to the land, a task as urgent and life-sustaining as ever.