Ora Pro Nobis

godless heathens, and
our impure thoughts, and
our despicable actions, and
our foolish devotion
to a belief,
that burning dead grass,
chanting in tongue,
celebrating the sun;
not the Son,
will save us
from ourselves.
Pray for the rebels, that
let an old church burn,
not resurrecting the dead,
honouring the family long after
they died by their own hand,
grieving for the trees,
that built an old church.
Pray for me,
when I fall and
choose to rise,
a little native boy
without a cross
to teach him
wisdom and experience,
hoping to understand a world,
without distant wooden schools
to show the difference between
right and wrong,
heaven and hell,
pure and native.
Please Padre,
pray for us.

~ Daniel N. Poitras

Daniel N. Poitras currently resides in the tunnels of Edmonton Transit System only emerging to barter his many stylish beaver pelts and read at various places where they either offer him virgin sacrifices or cheese & crackers.

“Home to me is the place you’re willing to claw, bite and burn for. What inspired the poems is my reserve, the Paul First Nation. It’s a dysfunctional home, filled with neglectful parents, cruel brothers and sisters, and love and pride you can’t drink away.”

Read more of Daniel N. Poitras’s poetry:
Hank Williams’s I Saw the Light
Don’t Let Them Take Me

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

Leave a Reply