“To my father and all of our Chickasaw family who walked before him on the Trail of Tears”.
In the Darkness of Night…
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 is another
story to tell.
They planted crops gave blessing and took
from the land only what they would need, a
word they did not know… greed. Strangers
with pale skin came from the east where
living off the land was unknown; my people
taught them how to live, when no longer
needed the white stranger’s drove them
from their ancestral homes.
The Grandfathers and their families stood
tall, their backs they refused to bend so the
white strangers herded them like cattle to
a far off land… to die in the hot barren sand.
My people believed 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 covered the blood-
splattered pages of history.
My people 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
corralled on dry barren land, given musty
water and bug-infested corn meal to eat,
in a place with no hope, to the white 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 do not go unheard 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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