POETRY WINNER: MUI'N SEWELL SATTLER

We Are Mountains

With dew on our lips
And moss shrouding our skin
We bear the burden
Forced upon our quaking backs
With our tears of sand
And shivering voices of volcanic ash
We remember
Everything we touch feels like salt
Making itself at home
In our already putrid wounds
Because of our bitter dreams
We pretend we are still human
Because of our foolish hope
We imagine that the embers
Left in our souls
Won’t burn us from the inside out
Before the earth in our lungs
Suffocates us
Into eternal slumber

Mi’kma’ki

I claw
Away at my face
My throat
My chest
I dig
Past
Muscle and sinew
When I think
I’ve reached bone
I discover clay
Clay as red
As the truth

What to Do When the Night is Watching:

  • Turn on a flashlight
  • Light a candle
  • Stand under a streetlight
  • Close your eyes and dream; you can always see inside your head
  • Strike a match
  • Tame a firefly
  • Swallow a star
  • Avoid the dark
  • Replace your eyes, say, with the ones of a cat; that way you won’t have to remember

Photo of Mui'n Sewell Sattler

Mui’n Sewell Sattler is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government (in the Gaspé region of Québec), with matrilineal ties to Garden River Anishinaabe First Nation. Born and raised in rural Saskatchewan, she currently lives in downtown Vancouver, BC.