change (medicine in academe)

By 
michele marie desmarais

they might have noticed
the bear
whose movement
down the hallway
resembled a private waltz
or hard-won swagger
that comes from knowing
trails, from soft leaf language
from the tricky custom of rivers
all this
they might have seen
coming through that hall

where thought-bones
became walls
piled so high
the bit of blue
might be sky
might be buffalo
might be buffalo china
might be blue jeans
where they instructed:
measure out mystery
construct
by creating more bones
chew till your teeth crack
or someone brings medicine

this is how things change

skins conceal
but not entirely

dreams edge out
in four directions
like paws
with quiet purpose
coming closer

take time to notice
now
there are good tracks
down these hallways
the air smells of
cedar, sage
tobacco & sweetgrass
with minds made fit
for green & life
we begin again
our words grow bright wings
take flight in possible skies
our thoughts gather in
their bones, their fur
their grace & remember
to walk
with gratitude

this is how things change

years from now
someone will
most certainly stop
in these hallways
& say
i heard this story
about a bear

923 public://desmarais_change.mp3

michele marie desmarais was born and raised in Vancouver. Her back-ground is Métis, Dakota, English, and French. Along the way, she also learned Sanskrit. Recent publications include poetry in Yellow Medicine Review, ISLE Journal, and Room. She lives in Nebraska but visits home frequently.

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

Room relies on subscriptions from readers like you. Help us continue to promote and support diverse women and genderqueer authors and artists by subscribing today.

SUBSCRIBE

Currently on Newsstands

  • Room 41.2, Changing Language
    Edited by Kayi Wong

    In this issue:

    Manahil Bandukwala, Fang Bu, Allison Graves, Kadijah Guillaume, Ava Homa, Ashley Hynd, Amy LeBlanc, Vanessa Lent, Tasslyn Magnusson, Chloe Yelena Miller, Amy Oldfield, Alycia Pirmohamed, Mia Poirier, Victoria Prevot, Michelle Purchase, Jade Riordan, Ellie Sawatzky, Bren Simmers, Dahae Song, Anne Stone, Susie Taylor, Katherena Vermette, Kayi Wong, Hiba Zafran, Shellie Zhang

    .