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First People :: American Indian Poems and Prayers

Chiefs of Nations - The Cherokee Nation.

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Savage Man

I travel these lands much these days,
my ancestors went these same ways.
Back when you could still see the border of where Heaven and Earth lies
when the eagles glare still ruled the skies.
Back when we roamed like the bears,
hunting and gathering without a care.
Back when this was my land,
before I was a savage man.
They came upon that moonlight tide
on a wooden ship for an eight month ride.
They tried to teach us wrong from right
Then killed our women and children throughout the night.
The ones who fled seen the morning light
They were wounded but survived the fight,
and that heart they fill with so much pride.
Would not forgive them for they had not died.
But this was my land, before I was a savage man.
Now on this paint 18 hands high,
on his back I prepare to die.
With war paint on my face, and my feathers hanging low.
Nothing but my arrows and my hickory bow.
I fall to the ground completing my death
Killing with my dying breath.
And I know of the place they want us to go.
I've seen the blood on the newly fallen snow.
And I can still hear their painfull yell,
As they march my people down that tearfull trail.
But this was my land before I was a savage man.

© 2012 Michael Keltner

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