I read a book today,
The title, “My Grandfather.”
Aptly titled so, because the title was the author.
You see, books can go unnoticed
Their covers worn and faded.
But we know the stories are real
Because the lines are on their faces.
I found this book neglected, alone and in his room.
You need not read this book,
For it’s the book that speaks to you.
The stories live forever.
In the pages we hold sacred.
But they are not made of paper
No, the pages are the language…
The language that was lost
And stolen along the way.
But “My Grandfather” remembers
And remembers to this day.
He tells me stories
Of envy, hate and wisdom.
And even wise men can learn
From the ways of our children.
Babies aren’t born with prejudice in mind,
It’s their development that places the jealousness in their eyes.
Yes, I learned a lesson
In love, strength and honor.
I learned it from my “book”
And the book was “My Grandfather.”
Will Strongheart (Ojibwe) majors in Native American studies with an Ojibwe language emphasis at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College. He is the current AIHEC slam poet laureate.