Old Woman Bay – a poem by Paula Kienapple-Summers

Old Woman Bay

I rise, grandmother spirit, Nokomis
here, at the bay, where I have always been

my face, the furrowed head land, 
turns toward the horizon
though the great lake’s cold, deep water
pounds life and death against me

my hair of balsam-fir-cedar 
mantles across my great granite spine
its millions of rugged tendrils
burrow in earth and rock 
when I am silent, buried beneath snow
my limbs, branches of sugar maples,
dance green in the spring 
until the time of letting go
when my yellow-orange-red dreams
tumble across the skies

I am Nokomis, grandmother spirit,
here, at the bay, where I have always been
for all my great age, I am strong
how else to bear this wild, dazzling cold?

Paula Kienapple-Summers is a poet from Kitchener, Ontario. Her poems have been published in Existere, The Nashwaak Review, Tower Poetry, and Spadina Literary Review as well as anthologies including Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poetry Anthology (Mansfield Press: 2018) and Voicing Suicide (Ekstasis Editions: 2020).

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