I Think They Will Not Mind

A poem by Marsha Reeves. Read by Margaret Noodin.

Marsha Reeves, one of our beloved Swamp Singers, was inspired by chickadees on a winter walk where she is now living in northern Michigan. Their continued presence called for a song and then a poem as they keep us company through the coldest season. Special thanks to Margaret Noodin and Mike Zimmerman for their translation assistance.

I Think They Will Not Mind

Ninendaan gaawiin waa-babaamendanzimowaad
I think they will not mind that

wiikaa bi-dagoshinaan.
I arrive late.

Gijiigijigaaneshiiyag gii-giimoodaanagidoowag noopiming
The chickadees were mumbling in the bushes

besho naadazina’iganing.
by the box where I get mail.

Andawendaanaawaa Manaadendamaazowin
They needed an Honor Song

mii wenji-nagamotawagwaa
so I sang to them

nisidawenmangwaa miinawaa
because we understand them again

ezhi-manaadenimangwaa ingiw wiidokawiyangidwaa
the way we respect those who keep us company

gabe biboon
all winter.

Gaawiin da-giizhokoniyesiiwag misawa
They do not need to dress warm and yet

giizhokawiyangidwaa gidode’iminaaning.
they warm our hearts.

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