I hear the cries of my grandmothers and
grandfathers, I feel their fear; I walk with
them in my dreams on the Trail of Tears.
Their feet bloody as they walked the rutted
trail, every scar on their backs another story
to tell. They planted crops, gave blessing,
taking from the land only, what they would
need, a word they did not know… greed.
Strangers with pale skin came from the east,
my people taught them how to live, when no
longer needed they drove them from their
ancestral homes. The Grandfathers and their
families stood tall, their backs they refused
to bend, herded like cattle to a far off land, to
die in hot barren sand.
My people believed that the land belonged to
no one, given to all by the “Great Mystery”; still
they died with broken souls never knowing that
their story in time would cover the blood-splattered
pages of history. They watched as women gave birth
and warriors carried the dead; the children went to
sleep hungry with the ground as their bed.
The day came when these great people were corralled,
given musty water and bug-infested cornmeal to eat,
in a place with no hope, to the pale man they were
bound, a killing field where the blood of my family
spilled upon the ground. I hear you my grandmothers
and grandfathers, your cries in the darkness of night;
for in my dreams I walk with you, I feel your fear; I wake
each morning with the taste of your tears.
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8 thoughts on “The Killing Fields of Yesteryear…”
As a small child, I remember an Indian School in town. Once a year there would be an event there for people to go out and see the Indians. I remember the boys who would come to our house to mow the lawn and pull weeds. It all seemed so wrong, I just wanted to cry. The contempt of my mother made me ill but more than that it made me question.
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Thank you for your response…we grow, we learn; had I been raised by my mother I would not be who I am today. She did not want me; how lucky was I to be with my father and his people. Keep blogging, I will enjoy your site. Ann
I love this: the imagery, the connection, the pain and the simplicity. Thank you.
Thank you so very much, all of my poetry content on Native Americans are created from stories told to me by my great-grandmother whose parents were on “The Trail of Tears”.
That’s both incredible and incredibly sad.
One of the more shameful chapters of our history. You present it viscerally.
Colonial crimes exposed in lyrical tenderness in this epic of melancholy and loss. The message is more effective for its lack of anger. Well done.
A beautiful piece – heart wrenching and so wrong, but agree with Irma and Mike – it is presented very effectively and respectfully.
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