who owns this land

attempts at ugliness not only stifle but hold hostage

questions determined to find their way to the surface


 ... who owns this land? ...


the answers left on clotheslines

until some are dislodged by inequality

renters remain     unwelcome

pushed from one home          to the next

they bring their potted plants

find a home for it on the new patio

until they can't afford a patio

and still no honest answer

to who owns this land

I know it must be hard to feel 

sorry for renters like me

who could once afford balconies

when this was once a forest

before my Métis ancestor 
brought HBC blankets 

and maybe even stole a canoe


I know who owns this land          and it is not me


                yet here I am with nowhere to go


                       forever trapped in rentals    


and a little too familiar with basement suites

where no sharing of the yard shall take place

and when their mother-in-law needs the suite


we will have to move                 again!   






Jónína Kirton



As a Métis/Icelandic poet. I am both settler and indigenous. I relate to immigrants who are told to go back to their homeland and who have either lost the connection to that homeland or cannot return as their 'land', their home has been taken over. I have always felt where ever I am is temporary and that no one really owns 'land'. We can't own the earth. Those who believe this will also be moving us out. Until we learn to share space we will replicate this over and over.