© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
A new project looks to tap into the hope that comes with finally getting a COVID-19 vaccine through poetry.

The Global Vaccine Poem: Your Journey is Done

Ofelia Zepeda
"Dear Vaccine" - Ofelia Zepeda

My name is Ofelia Zepeda, and I am a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. And this is my poem:

Dear Vaccine/Kulañ, ṣa: ‘ap a’i masma

‘Ia ‘att m-nam k m-nowǐ bebhĕ.

We meet you and shake your hand in greeting.

It has been some time since we shook anyone’s hand.

S-ap ‘ac t-ta:tc ia m-ñei.

We are happy to see you.

Hekihu amjeḍ ‘ac ‘ia m-ñenḍa.

We have been waiting for your arrival for some time.

Your journey is done you will now rest in our bodies.

Like other healers before you

you will be there when we need you.

The tale of your journey will be held in our collective stories.

We will retell it next year when we acknowledge the death anniversaries

of our relatives and friends and all those who tried to fight the enemy alone.

We will tell of the battles you fought on your journey

The battles against non-believers and conspiracy theorists.

You will be known as a hero, a slayer of enemies.

And like so many others before you

you will be known by many names.