Gaagi Biingwe

The small steps, overlooked

Like they were made from

Paper silences

Our screaming

The brick walls

Silty at the edge of our



But nobody heard

Until the creasings

Turned into long hard


Quaking our whole voices

As fast and efficient as morning

Gagii biingwe.

The whole night ate

Our silence

While Canada prepared their speeches

Our silence

The night chewing them

An offering to

The piles of treaties

The edges falling into long rivers, swallowed

Lesley Belleau is an Anishnaabekwe writer from the Ojibwe nation of Ketegaunseebee Garden River First Nation, located outside of Bawating/Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She is a PhD student in the Indigenous Studies Department at Trent University in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, Ontario), studying Indigenous feminine literature and narrative retrieval. Currently she teaches Indigenous Literature at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie. Lesley is the author of The Colour of Dried Bones, a collection of short fiction published by Kegedonce Press, as well as other poetic, fictional, academic and blog publications both nationally and internationally. Lesley’s second book, Sweat, a full-length novel, will be launched in September, 2013. Lesley resides with her four young children.