A Prayer on Walking a Small Part of the Trail of Tears

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What is the land

but dust

but mountains

but forrest

but mud

but lost sorrow

 

What is sorrow

but torn soul

but wounded skin

but a trail of tears.

 

This day

the Chickasaw

Choctaw

Creek

Seminole

Cherokee

 

wipe the

white mans dirt

off their right foot

with their left foot

 

wipe the buffalo’s blood

off their right hand

with their left hand

 

walk bloody

bare right foot

to wounded left foot

on the dust

of their ancestors

their sacred hills

 

walk away from

The Great Spirit

to the not greater

white man’s God

slow sad right foot

to slower left foot.

 

Walk dragging their

dead still right foot

to still left foot

far away from the sun

of their monumental land

 

to this country

of bullets and blood

marching, running

blue right foot

towards gray left foot

in a frenzy to erect

bronze monuments

to all their dead

 

And when they cry it’s

the prayer of the white man

buried in Indian pain

 

May the wind

that is blowing

now and always

the dust of our memory

blow beyond your

fear of us

and all different

colored spirits

 

May the wind

turn from you

and only return

until you love not

the scars you

put on our backs

 

May you open your

eyes to unbuilt land

and see finally

The Great Spirit

calling every one

to share the

sacred hills

even the dust

with all that

have always walked

right foot to left foot