Published on Academy of American Poets (

Babejianjisemigad/Gradual Transformation

Chigaming gii jiisibidoon mikwambikwadinaa
The great sea was pinched by the glaciers

neyaashiiwan, neyaakobiiwanan, neyaakwaa
land reaching, water pointing, trees leaning

biindig zaaga’iganing, agwajiing akiing
inside the lake, outside the land.

Omaa zhawenjigejig zhaweniminangwa
It is here we are loved

epiichi agwaayaashkaa mii dash animaashkaa
by the slow swell of tides

gaye baswewe zisibimaadiziyang.
that echo the rasp of our lives.

Maampii gidanishinaabemotawigoonaanig
This place speaks to us

ginwenzh biboon, nitaawigin niibin
of long winters, summer growth

babejianjisemigad apane.
and slow constant change.


Originally published in And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing (Michigan State University Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Margaret Noodin. Used with the permission of the author.


Margaret Noodin

Margaret Noodin is the author of Gijigijigaaneshi Gikendaan (Wayne State University Press, 2020) and Weweni (Wayne State University Press, 2015), both collections of bilingual poems in Anishinaabemowin and English, and Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature (Michigan State University Press, 2014). The editor of, she currently works as the Associate Dean of Humanities and professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she also serves as director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education.

Date Published: 2017-12-04

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