Margaret Noodin

Gaawiin o’o dibendagaasinoon / None of this Belongs Here

Nigaganoonidiwag dash gaawiin noozhesiiyaang
We talk and no one is female

nindozhitoomin dash gaawiin naabesiiyaang
we build and no one is male

gaawiin o’o dibendagaasinoon
none of this belongs here

ge-ningide wadiswan
as the nest melts

nindagindaamin mitigoonsan
we are counting sticks

ningiziibiginaamin azhashki
we are washing mud

nindakonaanaanig asiniig
we hold onto stones

nimbiinjwebinaanaanig ezhi-enaazowaad
we toss their color into the air

gaawiin noondeyaabaagaasinoon ziibiwan
none of the rivers are thirsty

ge-bagwaakide dibikadini giizhig
as the day burns a hole in the night

nindaamin gaawiin ingoji onzaam
we live nowhere because

ningiiwemin miziwe geget apane.
we are everywhere going home.

Wanaanimizimagad / A Time of Confusion

Gaawiin jiichiigwanjigesiiwag
They don’t gnaw

the ones who wink.

Gaawiin gondansiinaawaa
They don’t swallow

the ones who skin.

Gaawiin maaminonendansiinaawaa
They don’t notice

ojiibikan aawiyaang
we are roots.

Gaawiin nisidotaansiinaawaa
They don’t understand

gikinoowizhangid ziibii
we guide the river.

Waagoshag waagaashiwag
Bent in the wind, the foxes

gojimandawaad jiigaakwaang.
sniff the edge of the treeline.

Waabizheshi geyabi bezhig onjida
The pine marten eats

o’amawaan waawaabiganoojiiyan.
one more mouse on purpose.

Zhagashkaandaweg nanaakonaawaad
The squirrels have declared war

on the lost ones who explode.

The unraveling

gaa maajitamagag.
has begun.

Mamaangaashkaa Michigaming / The Surging Sea

For Angelique Le Roy

Mamaangaashkaa besho Michigaming
On the surging shores of Lake Michigan

gii animaa’an ezhi-bimaadiziyaang mewenzha
it drifted away, the way we used to live

animaa’ogoyaang zhowanong
we also drifted, south

maadaa’ogoyaang zhooniiyaashkaa.
on waves of silver.


Gii madweyaashkaa apii maajiiwiidigeyaang
We heard the swell as our life began together

gii ditibaashkaa apii abinoojikeyaang
the rolling tides of making children

niibina biboonan gii giniginigeyaang
for many years mixing

Ojibwe, Mamaceqtaw, Bodwewedami.
Ojibwe, Menominee, Potawatomi.


Mii gii biidaashkaa mii adaaweyaang
Then on waves of trade

mii aanjisemigad apane aakiing
the earth forever changed

miinawaa oshme zinagad ji-bawaajige
and dreaming is more difficult

waasa agwaayaashkaa ningaabii’anong.
on the other side of the western break.


Note: Angelique le Roy, was born in 1766, although the exact date is not certain. She was the daughter of Joseph and Marguerite le Roy and the granddaughter of Menominee leader, Ahkenepaweh (Standing Earth). Her uncle Onaugesa was the Menominee leader of the Potawatomi at Milwaukee. In 1786 she married Jacques Vieu, who was born May 5, 1757 in Montreal. He worked for the North West Fur Co. first in Mackinac and Madeline Island, then Green Bay.

With Jacques, she began a family and opened trading posts in gathering places west of the Lake Michigan shoreline. In August of 1795 they arrived in Milwaukee and were welcomed by Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk people living there. They settled in an area west of Milwaukee Bay. Together they founded the village of Milwaukee, later platted by their daughter Josette and her husband, Solomon Juneau.

In 1836, after witnessing a small pox epidemic she returned with Jacques to a farm at Green Bay. She was not in Milwaukee in 1838 when, following the 1833 Indian-removal Treaty of Chicago, the United States Army troops rounded-up and forced Milwaukee area American Indians to gather at the “Indian Fields” (near the present-day Forest Home Cemetery) and then journey in a caravan to Kansas and Iowa Territory.

Jacques and Angelique had eleven children. The oldest was Madeleine Thibeault, who is listed as Menominee and Ho-Chink and lived in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Their son Paul, and at least four other siblings lived as members of the Potawatomi tribe in Kansas.

Angelique died in 1862 at the home of her son Joseph, in Lawrence, Wisconsin.

Margaret Noodin

Margaret Noodin, author of Weweni (Wayne State University Press, 2015) and Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams (Michigan State University Press, 2014), is Anishinaabe, teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and edits