1855

I celebrate myself
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease ... observing a spear of summer grass.
—Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

I celebrate myself
And what I hereby cede you shall hereby cede,
For the country relinquished by me as good is relinquished by you

I loafe and convey to the United States
All the right, title and interest ... in my country, occupied and claimed,
I give and grieve ... meeting on spears of summer grass


I celebrate myself
And what I hold in reserve for my exclusive right and occupation
Shall be available from time to time
             to the President, at his discretion, to be surveyed into lots

I acknowledge my dependence and promise to be friendly
I pledge and agree ... not to shelter or conceal offenders
              but to deliver them up to the authorities for trial


I celebrate my miyó·x̣at
Who bore losses that we would not bear,
For nú·nim waq’í·swit that is nú·nim tito·qaná·wit
              kúnk’u

I hold and cherish Article III
I protect and love our usual and accustomed places, our exclusive right
              to take fish, to hunt, to gather roots and berries,
              and pasture our horses on open land


I celebrate nú·nim wé·tes, our land:
Ka nú·nim wé·tes hí·wes nú·nim wé·tes kúnk’u
And our land is our land forever

I love and enlarge my soul
’ené·setwíse ’i·nim titó·qan, wax̣ nú·nim wé·tes; timí·pn’ise Wai·latpu
I love my people, and our land; I remember the Place of Rye Grass

We are one with our land
And our land is our ancestors’ land, always
All the land they are lighting, the land is shining bright
forever

nú·n wisí·x ku’stí·te nú·nim wé·tes
ka· nú·nim wé·tes hí·wes nú·nim ’anoqónmanm wé·tes, kúnk’u
hi’laká’wisix la’ámna wé· tesne, wé·tes hi’laká’wisa
kúnk’u
More Poems by Beth Piatote