Moon of the Returning Sun

dg nanouk okpik

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A view from two sides of Polaris, it is said:

                                               the living awaits destined relatives to retort.

 

These people go around waking the sleeping ones

when the weather is good:                          they wait for those

                                                                                    who-are-coming-around-the-bend.

 

1981 Anaktuvik Pass/Tulugaq Elijah Kakinya Inupiaq name Kainnaaq said,

 

                 “In the beginning of the universe,

                 when you were young long ago,

                 the sky was dark and underneath us.

                 Down under there was no sun until

                 the world turned over and became

                 the sky we have now.”

 

                                                    It is said: Down under lived two wolves

                                                                   who had two children, a boy and a girl.

 

From these wolves-of-part-man, all the people

                came to be and multiplied.

 

I as wolf girl                                          became weary of the light

dwell in darkness                     long time ago I was taken

away from Utqiagvik                              by the ones in black cloaks,

                                               adopted.

I wait for the universe to turn

                                                                                            around again,

               wait for a reason to move the fetus in my womb

                                               wait for Raven to bring back the sun

                                                                             for     recovery/extraction

                                                                             

                                                                             with a sealskin satchel

                                                                             birch bark and pencil

                                                                             wolf girl rewrites tundra.

From Corpse Whale by dg nanouk okpik © 2012 The Regents of the University of Arizona. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press.