Something that holds memory

In the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve
on Manitoulin Island
a woman
of some quiet authority
and grace
generously gave me the name
of various objects in Ojibwa.

Seeking to see
her breadth I finally
pointed at my laptop.

A computer
I said
and she responded
without missing a beat
with a word I couldn’t pronounce
much less spell.

I scratched my head.
What does that mean?

It means something that holds memory.

So when I rest on my modern laurels
all content with my latest toy
complete with new power adaptor
I’m often jolted back
to that honest woman
who had a better name for our
cutting edge
technology than we do
and let out a long, heated, breath.


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