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Our home is this country

Today’s poem is “Our home is this country” by Rita Joe, who was a Micmac poet and songwriter. She was born on Cape Breton Island and lived in East Bay, Nova Scotia until her death in 2007.  She was the author of Poems of Rita Joe, L’nu and Indians We’re Called, Songs of Eskasoni, and We are the Dreamers Recent and early poems (Breton Books).  She was awarded the Order of Canada.  She began writing poetry after her children came home from grade school with homework that she thought was derogatory in its depiction of native people.
Our home is this country
by Rita Joe

Our home is this country
Across the windswept hills
With snow on Fields.
The cold air.

I like to think of our native life,
Curious, free;
And look at the stars
Sending icy messages.
My eyes see the cold face of the moon
Cast this net over the bay.

It seems
We are like the moon—
Grow slowly,
Then fade away, to reappear again
In a never-ending cycle.

Our lives go on
Until we are old and wise.
Then end.
We are no more,
Except we leave
A heritage that never dies.

from We are the Dreamers. Recent and early poetry (Breton Books)