As Us

A Space for Women of the World

Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen-Poetry

Someday this may apply to you, too, so pay attention.

These are forgotten words I want to remember,
deft knife, the scent of
–––––––––––––––––––––aren’t we
lost
–––––––I choose them
–––––––––––––––––––––they’re made of
cold sand-blood, we’re still
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––a small animal
a plastic bag, a seal pup. I’m made of them—
riverbank caribou—the women in the cabin
believe this is the word I want. Maybe I’ve never
been here
–––––––––––––as much as
fossil grass in the creek
–––––––––––––––––––––the road eating
hulled ribcage and hefting
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––these words
so I won’t forget. Aren’t we red sun
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––distant
after the funeral? Still we are
crane, now, maybe bear-
willows—consuming thick
red muscle.

Carrie Ojanen HeadshotCarrie Ayagaduk Ojanen is an Inupiaq writer from the Ugiuvamiut tribe. The Ugiuvamiut lived on Ugivak island (King Island, Alaska) during the winter until the 1960s, when the federal government closed the BIA school on the island, forcing the residents to relocate to Nome, Alaska.She grew up in Nome, Alaska. Her grandparents greatly missed living on Ugivak. Their longing for their home and her sense of place in Nome, informed by a sense of this displacement, inspires her writing.She received her MFA from the University of Montana. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner and the Louisville Review.

One Comment on “Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen-Poetry”

  1. Daniel Lamberton

    September 17, 2013

     Remarkable work; I hope to see more of her writing, and would love to see a book of Ms. Ojanen’s poems.

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