Wicaŋhpi Heciya Taŋhaŋ Uŋhipi
(We Come from the Stars)
in our universe
came from according to astrophysicists who
only recently discovered the cosmological constant causing
of our universe.
Our creation story tells us we came from the stars to this place Bdote
where the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers converge,
our journey along the Wanaġi Caŋku,
in our universe,
that stargazers later called the Milky Way now disappearing
in the excessive glow of a million million urban uplights.
The original inhabitants of this place,
of our universe,
we are Wicaŋhpi Oyate, People
and will remain here as long as
we can see ourselves
in the stars.
Copyright © 2020 by Gwen Westerman. Originally published in When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (Norton, 2020). Used with the permission of the poet.