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,
Haudenosaunee,
Lenape,
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 is a 73-year old retired Canadian Cognitive Scientist. He served as his Faculty Union President, Grievance Officer, and was a long time member of a nation-wide faculty strike support committee. His literary career, started on his academic retirement three years ago, consists of two longer published short stories, one of which won the 2020 flash fiction contest from Kansas City Voices, and about 30 - 40 published poems. His writing has been published also as shorter pieces in Everyday Fiction, Quarantine Quanta, Flash Fiction Magazine, and 101 Words Read other articles by Albert N..