The Sealy Challenge

#๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜†๐—–๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฎ๐˜† 3:

๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—จ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ง๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ: ๐—” ๐—–๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€, gathered by ๐——๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฒ, Editor โœ’๏ธ

Samah Fadil
2 min readAug 5, 2021


A copy of the book sitting on the trunk of a tree, grass and surrounded by yellow flowers
Before the Usual Time: A Collection of Indigenous Stories and Poems gathered by Darlene Naponse

The way this collection started off I already felt seen and read. It writes: โ€œDoes time exists mostly within need? The need to get somewhere; for a day to come, for yesterday to be gone?โ€

Oof. With the way I am hyper-aware of time, this really hit home.

I must admit I had to Google a lot of the terms in this book but I was grateful for it and honoured that I was able to learn more about Indigenous culture through this collection.

I related so much to the recurring theme of colonization, feeling a sense of generational loss, losing a home and trying to root yourself in a culture that is being erased. Being Afro-Palestinian, their words spoke so much truth, and I felt a sense of kinship with these authors who express a tremendous sense of loss that is bigger than one individual.

Every contributor brought their own point of view to what it means to be an Indigenous person, and it comes out in poetry about body and heritage, prose about the reality of having someone try to assimilate you, horror stories about infected people and more. This was a thoughtful body of work Iโ€™m happy to have discovered, and look forward to reading more Indigenous voices from around the globe. Being dispossessed, oppressed and erased is a reality far too many of us understand intimately.

๐— ๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€/๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜€/๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€:

โ€œBarbed wire fences spread like invasive vines whose only fruit are cancer tumors that bloom on every branch of our family.โ€
- Craig Santos Perez

โ€œHe is so incensed by our nativeness that he still refuses to allow my firstborn to test out of ELL, to remain home with me, to accept his role as satellite white father. Heโ€™s overturned ICWA cases and kept kids away from their parents. He practised family law. Heโ€™s white. He knows the white system.โ€
- Joan Naviuyuk Kane

โ€œDamnedest thing you ever see

When travelling with a talking skeleton.

Every now and then, the bones be asking,

โ€œWhen are we not in a dream?

When are we not skeletons?โ€โ€

- Sy Hoahwah

Follow me on Instagram @samaapoetry for more and check out what The Sealy Challenge is here. Yesterdayโ€™s selection is right here.

Tomorrowโ€™s selection is My Art is Killing me by Amber Dawn.



Samah Fadil

I like to write and ask questions about politics, poetry, pop culture, power, philosophy, pen game, and various other P words. Not catered to the White Gazeโ„ข๏ธ.