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Rosette Necklaces.

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Crow Nation

I was told sometime ago
That this land of ours would be
For as long as the rivers flowed
And for as long as the grass should grow
From the wide and open plains
As far as you could see
To the great Pacific Ocean, forever to us free.

But the rivers, they've stopped flowing.
And the grass, it's stopped growing.
And this land, as you can see,
Is, to us, no longer free

For this, I write to you, Mr. President; why is this so?
With reddened eyes and a trembling voice, Hear our humble cry!

Perhaps, within a year or two
Our words, your ears will hear
But until it be, we lift your eyes
To this our humble plea.

You've told us of your great men, from George Washington 'til today
Now you tell me of our treachery, from our murders to our thieves.
Yes, tell me why we're treacherous, make no mention of broken treaties.
Tell me why we're thieves, yet we lived in frail skin lodges.
Yes, tell me of your patriots, who stood for your own land.
Tell me of our murderers, who only did the same.

For this, I write to you, Mr. President; why is this so?
With reddened eyes and a trembling voice, Hear our humble cry!

You tell all your people: "America first." We believe in that.
We therefore ask you while you speak, to tell them all the truth.
You ask me what "truths were these"? I tell you right off hand:
If the "Custer Battle" was a massacre, what was Wounded Knee?

When lifting weights, my muscles strain.
My breaths come quick and shallow,
But when I'm through and walk out of the room,
I feel the strength I've gained.
So it is with my people, I write to you.
Even now, I wait in vain
To hear the voice of your reply. Say not another lie.

For this, I write to you, Mr. President; why is this so?
With reddened eyes and a trembling voice, Hear our humble cry!

© 1983 David Lee Yellowmoon Rose

Dedicated to my grandfather, Preston Ben Rose, who died June 2, 2000


Written in 1983 while in the 11th grade the sentiments and feelings are mine, but had help from 4 different sources:

  1. God,
  2. "as long as tha rivers flowed and grass growed" inspired from a Treaty and tha movie "Little Big Man",
  3. "you've told us of your greatmen - - the middle section from the Grand Council Fire Speech of 1927
  4. "when lifting weights" from a Navajo elder who inspired me from the magazine National Geographic. The poem is a holy poem because it took only three days to write and could not have been completed without the help of The Great Spirit - Our Maker.

 

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