My dream has come as a nightmare tonight.
I feared of sleep and my young child’s flight.
I glimpsed of another path of the youth. Maybe so I can tell all this truth.
I’ve never seen so much hurt and sorrow.
So they can get high and borrow…
The pills and needles are like empty thrills and feelings. I saw the men who gave the supply.
Their faces were pale and eyes ice cold blue. They cared nothing about the people they supplied
but only to feed their egos on their next victim’s high.
I pleaded with the people to stop.
Their pain they said was too much; it was the feels they would rather drop.
I sat and held my son after awakening and prayed his skin, his soul would never lose the fright of a needle.
That his heart and soul wouldn’t be dependent on a pill or worse.
I thought about the youth who are stuck on this guck.
Because it’s the only way out.
Out of feels, out of life, out of creators bright light.
The drum beats inside their hearts.
Wake up those once bright eyes. For they are our mothers great art.
Let them persevere through your strength and never let them part.
Dry your tears, Fight your fears, never let go of your goals,
Identify yourself and fill those holes.
It’s true our young are hurting just as we all did or do.
Does it mean we should abandon you? NO!
My life has been hard and rough and I’ve fought a lot of battles with myself and the world.
Or so it seems, but it was the shadows I feared upon and they will eat you alive if you let them.
As adults we must guide them to happiness where dreams flourish and bloom.
So start by giving that child a hug in the room.
Never stop believing, succeeding and repeating. Let the shadows lurk, never give up! Love yourself!

Starla Redsky is an Anishinaabe woman from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. An Ojibwe jingle dress dancer, she is very dedicated to her family, her son Ogimaagezhig and her supportive partner George. Having successfully completed an early childhood education program, Starla will soon attend Nippising University in pursuit of her Aboriginal Teacher Certification. This is her first publication.