Let There Be

for Jaiden Peter Morgan

A good poem
is summer
                 my nephew said 
             mirage rising 
from corn fields
pollen on our tongues
each syllable 
flecked with sunbeams
and names not said 
shiye’ you should know 
the voice isn’t ours alone
    but a dwelling space
    a hooghan’s
    cool inner darkness
    before ceremony 
    it is you 
    who will heal 
    these wounds
a good poem 
is song
            I said
so let there be mountains
singing in all directions
let there be laughter
uninterrupted and innocent 
shiye’ what joy you are


Copyright © 2021 by Manny Loley. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 1, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I wrote this poem for my nephew. It is a reminder of home and the bonds that connect us to our homeland and to our people. Poetry, like all forms of storytelling, lives and breathes, reminding us of who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. The essential elements of our humanity can be contained within the space of the page, including Diné concepts, which deepens the poem and reaches inside to the place where the ancestral knowledges dwell. Díí saad naashjaa’ígíí éí shiyáázh bá áshłaa. Nizhónígo bidziil, ayóó’ó’ni’, dóó ajooba’ bee náásgóó naagháa dooleeł.”
Manny Loley