by Tanin Manningway about a year ago in slam poetry

A Poem to My People


Somewhere in the past...

Indigenous Children unwillingly compelled to convey concealed feelings of lone.

Indigenous Children’s sobs faintly mimic unspoken sad poems.

Indigenous Children drown in the river of endless nightmares. Bold tears—

Of Indigenous Children’s well-kept lengthy locks of sacred tradition snipped with cold shears.

“I... I… I didn’t mean it,”

Deaf in left ear; closed.

Wicked sticks whip Savages for Disobedience!

Mother’s tongues forbidden in the wooden house with:

Barricaded Windows

Leaky Faucet Pipes,

Lice Infested Garments,

And Shattered Pane.

Let’s in—

The wind blows.

Past generations suffering the same years previous.

Young eager-restless souls—

Sprint towards menacing white tops to reach pinnacles of snowy mountains.

Numb fingers rage in agony before fading against tips of sharp rocks —

Death around the thousands

Somewhere today...

Indigenous Children lost in the thick bushes, sleeping timelessly, wanting to go home.

Indigenous Children wandering confusedly below dying stars and decomposing corpses.

Residential School Survivors hide in small apartments, traumatized by pencils and chalkboards.

Residential School Survivors fade away in hospital beds, accepting fate as it… “Alone…

Ones who’d survived—


While Governments—


Indigenous Children sit in classrooms foreign with ones from overseas—

Positioned behind succeeding grades to sabotage the children’s needs.

Indigenous education’s doors reinforced shut with titanium white braced locks.

Indigenous Elders buried beneath homely snow banks beside lonely roads with no socks.

Ignored ignorance from ones who’ve claimed to be innocent victims.

Minimal change completed over decades of negligence. Whistling—

Indigenous Youth spend time contemplating dark thoughts of destruction.

Perceived as savages, outcasted and receives multiple dirty looks; Alien Abduction.

Somewhere in the future...

Indigenous Children will seize opportunities.

Indigenous Children will fight for traditional land.

Indigenous Children will stand together in unity.

Indigenous Children will persevere through challenging obstacles.

“No more crisis that divides us,

Despite the—

Conflicts we defuse or part from it.

We’ll climb peaks of Success Mountain—


Yesterday’s feeling of lone—


Indigenous Children escape foster care, the number decreases to a finger count amount.

Residential School Survivors ascended from the darkness to educate generations inbound.

Indigenous Women stride with pride like ferocious lions in the star-filled night sky.

Special Graves carved for those who had dreamt of visible paths to the limelight.

...All those lost wandering souls—


slam poetry
Tanin Manningway
Tanin Manningway
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Tanin Manningway
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