Remember- Joy Harjo

Yesterday, my godson graduated from high school. A little over 18 years ago, he was one pound, six ounces of amazingness in an incubator. Over the years, we have laughed at the expanse of his mind. Of his desire to know more, to know why. My mother always said that must have inherited that trait from me. His mother says that all she did was carry him (and his brother) everything else is me.
While yesterday was a moment of joy, it was also one of sadness. We were missing my mom, so I brought her senior picture with me. That’s her in the corner; looking serene. This Harjo poem seemed fitting for the occasion and for reflection. Congratulations to all the members of the class of 2016.

image

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.

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