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
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,
I wait for the universe to turn
wait for a reason to move the fetus in my womb
wait for Raven to bring back the sun
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.