A girl, perhaps five,
whose father will later tell me she speaks
English, French, and Armenian,
approaches me at Fort Edmonton Park.
“How do you say ‘Hi’ in the teepee way?”
she asks. Near the entrance
to the Indian Trade Store, guarded
by a six-sided stronghold, fortified
by twenty-foot bulwarks, and four
towering, aloof bastions, we regard
each other. I crouch down.
“Around here,” I reply, “the Cree say,
‘tânisi,’ or if you want to say,
‘Hello, how are you?’
we say, ‘tânisi kiya?’”