On Turtle Island

Before each meeting commences
we hear the standard land acknowledgment
read by one or another member
of the University Senate

admission that the building in which we are meeting
and the University in which I profess
and the city in which I live
is situated
on the traditional lands
of the Anishinaabeg,
Attawandaron and
Huron-Wendat peoples

a string of words, read
in a dispassionate voice
ceremonial, phatic utterances

devoid of rage or yearning

or sorrow

a nod acknowledging
that we are tenants who
pay no rent

and yet, in the reading,
no sense that we ought to

Albert N. Katz (he/him) is a 74-year-old retired Canadian cognitive scientist who, after 43 years as an academic, retired and began a new life as a writer of short stories and poetry. His stories have appeared in both speculative and mainline literary magazines, including Allegory, the /tEmZ/ Review, Otherwise Engaged, and Kansas City Voices, where his story “Hocus-Pocus” won the 2020 flash fiction competition. His first mystery thriller, “Tiny Packages” has just been published in the Anthology “Murder Mystery Mayhem” (Nordic Press, 2022). In addition to those published previously in Dissident Voice, his poems have appeared in Ascent, Abyss & Apex, Backchannel, and Rattle among others. He currently lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada with his wife and two rescue cats. Read other articles by Albert N..