~ Ona Gwe, Waki ~

In the Mohawk tongue it means, until next we meet
We have no words for good-bye
As a child I once asked what about when you die?

Grandfather said, on the other side are all the people
who ever walked Mother Earth
As well as those spirits
who have yet to know the miracle of birth

For you were once there too,
it is true
Then Creator said I have something
I want you to do

So he sent you here for a while
to be a two legged one
To walk Mother Earth
with love and honor from sun to sun

When you left the ancestors
and spirits did not cry
Nor did anyone say
the words good-bye

No, instead they smiled
and said these words so sweet
Ona Gwe, Waki
...until next we meet

One day my walk here  will be through
Here is what I ask of you
When you come to my crossing ceremony
do not cry
Do not stand with bowed head and say good-bye

Look up with joy
in your heart and these words repeat
Ona Gwe, Waki
…Until Next We Meet.

Ernie Smiling Hawk
© 2004 used with permission

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