Three days after submitting Chapter Four
I’m still unable to be angry
in Cree. So let me
be angry in English.
Mom, having never before told me
she has bad days, let alone rough weeks,
has had a rough week. She tells me
two stories. Two things happened to her
but she wanted to wait
until I’d finished Chapter Four
before telling me.
I think I’ve had it rough,
accused of appropriation,
for writing in Cree
while wearing white,
skin that is.
Mom’s first story, involving
toilet paper, has the potential
for great humour. This first story,
however, is far from funny.
While shopping at Canadian Tire
Mom spies a brand of toilet paper
she likes in someone’s buggy.
“Where did you find that toilet paper?”
she asks the woman with the buggy.
“What!” snaps the woman.
“What aisle did you find
that toilet paper in?”
Mom asks again.
“You’re an Indian,
and I don’t help Indians!”
sneers the woman from another country,
let’s just say a warm country.
The woman probably thinks my mother,
who neither has nor wants
is a freeloader.
The second story is still
too hard to tell.