I’ll Teach You Cree

Gregory Scofield

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with the tip of my spring tongue, ayîki 

your mouth will be the web

catching apihkêsis words,

a crawling-out ceremony

that cannot be translated.

 

hâw, pîkiskwê!

 

I’ll teach you Cree, nêhiyawêwin

that is the taste

of pimiy êkwa saskatômina

Your mouth with be the branches

I am picking clean,

a summer heat ceremony

that cannot be translated.

 

hâw, pîkiskwê!

 

Ill teach you Cree

in the winter, pipon

when the dogs curl against our backs.

Your mouth will be pawâcakinâsis-pîsim

that cannot be translated.

It will be a ceremony.

 

hâw, pîkiskwê!

 

I’ll teach you Cree

ê-kohk mistahi ê-sâkihitan.

It will be in the fall, this ceremony.

You will have the mouth of a beaver, .

thick and luminescent.

 

I will make my camp there

ê-kohk mistahi ê-sâkihitan.

This cannot be translated.

 

hâw, pîkiskwê!

“I’ll Teach You Cree” by Gregory Scofield from kipocihkân, Nightwood Editions, 2009, www.nightwoodeditions.com

Source: kipocihkân (Nightwood Editions, 2009)