Trail Of Tears

Assimilate, appropriate, negotiate, abdicate
desecrate, communicate, aggravate, abrogate
all words used in the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act
hurriedly pushed through Congress by wolves, a pact
of then President Andrew Jackson and untrustworthy delegates
the lands though promised millions the government confiscates

The document gave power to overrule representation
or resistance of the Native American Indian
extinguishing rights to lands owned for generations
and authorizing the US Cavalry and state militias
to force one hundred twenty thousand innocents
to Oklahoma, a new territory named for the Indians

The barbarity of it all was topped by disallowing
all they owned except what they could carry
little food, clothing, no shelter all comforts forbidding
into the cold of winter, heat of summer, considered ancillary
malnutrition, communicable diseases, the life ripping
on and on they were herded as if animals; no mercy

Five Indian nations, ripped from their ancestoral lands
Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw
suffering from exposure, disease, starvation - cold hands
would see some six thousand plus die, feet bloody and raw
while enroute, left to lay where they died, tears freely fall
shot in the shoulder if you tried to bury or leave a pall

The Trail of Tears is known by few today
few have knowledge of the ordeal, and fewer yet can say
why the incident happened, why it took place at all
one word can actually be used to sum up the gall
'twas greed of the white man, making promises tall
to populate the country - " free land to all" came the call

Fortunes were made at the Indians expense
herded like cows, penned by the territorial fence
made to assimilate, take others' customs, no way of defense
leave the reservation at penalty of death the threat immense
die by bullet, sword, noose - hard words no - pretense
on the Trail of Tears, many died; survivors in bondage dense

How long before:

we have our own Wounded Knee?
have our guns, the teeth of our resistence, seized
have our own genocide -
from our hands possessions pried
a current day Trail of Tears?

George Cavaness

© 2000 - 2019
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Trail Of Tears
May she ever fly in Freedom!!
© 2000 - 2019
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