The sun blared on the backyard, scorching our land. The wind blew hot air on our legs. My sister, brother and I were all playing hopscotch again on the concrete. It was blistering on our feet, but that’s what made us jump better. A crow sat on the tree, still, staring, watching our game vigilantly. My Gunhi chatted to herself in the kitchen as my Baadhiin sang in the laundry. My brother, Don, and Gunhi could speak our language fluently. I couldn’t, I only knew simple words, and we weren’t allowed to speak our language when white people were around. The kitchen window overlooked the backyard, our Gunhi sang about the waterhole and our responsibility to care for the land, something her father used to sing to her. She watched us kids play, but one fight, one argument and she was out the door as quick as a boomerang.
The crow screamed and flew off as someone rapped loudly on the door. My Gunhi didn’t answer it. It was almost as if she knew who it was. The knocking got louder and harder thunder. The hopscotch stopped. We all stood there frozen. Baadhiin ran outside and told Gunhi to gather us up. My youngest sister, Peggy, Don and I all hid under the kitchen window. The door was beating louder than ever; it was almost as loud as our three little hearts put together. Baadhiin answered the door and exchanged words with three men dressed in uniforms. I strained to hear what was said, but the men pushed past my Baadhiin as she screamed, “RUN!”
Peggy ran faster than her legs could take he, she tripped. Reg and I looked back to see Peggy’s face filled with tears and terror. “Come on Peggy” we yelled. All I could hear were my little sister’s screams.. I went back, reached down and felt her body tremble. I told her “It’d all be okay” but I lied.
Two days passed before we got to the new camp with other kids. It was okay because I was with Bobby and Peggy, we were a team, we could still go walkabout. But two weeks later I was taken and it was twenty-two years before I saw Peggy again. Thirty years passed before I saw Reg and I am still yet to see Baadhiin, and my...