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First People :: American Indian Poems and Prayers

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Through Indigenous Eyes

Come my grandson, let me
Tell you about the earth and the ground
Why your blood is red and why your skin is brown
Let me tell you about our history
Our history and how nothing is free

No grandfather, let me tell
You about what I've learned
I can speak the tongue of the white
I've learned to read and wright
All my teachers say "he is bright"
They say indians are wrong and White is right

My grandson, our people are
The people of the earth
A people lost in the wind
A people being lost to the White christian

Grandfather, I am a christian
And through the White christian
I have gained faith, hope and salvation
I may have a foreign faith
But I still know the story of our creation

My grandson, I tell you as a friend
The faith I believe is not pretend
However, I must respect what you believe
Remember, don't hold your breath,
even god has to breathe

Stop grandfather, you speak
To me as if I'm a still a child
You use a voice filled with confusion
Grandfather, that is not your style

Grandson, the white are wrong! They
Lie, steal and cheat
And then turn it into a Disney song
Here on the reservation is where
Your ancestors lived, this is
Where you belong.

Grandfather I hate to say it
But the past is gone

Why my grandson, do you not
Hear what I am saying?
The White culture you're embracing
Forgets about the poor and worships the rich
A woman is a whore, no excuse me a bitch
Do you hear what I'm saying?
All they do is take
But never give
You'll make a mistake,
If this is how you chose to live.
Open your Indigenous eyes.

They are open:
I see through these indigenous eyes,
Violence, racial segregation and stereotypes
We are known as the drunken indians
Who abuse their own kin I see my people,
Indians Who use and abuse a bottle of gin
Who have no concept of 'sin'
They go around beating women and children
They go around polluting and littering our ancesteal lands
This is the way of the Indian
...and if this is what you want me to be
Then count me out

Grandson, before you leave, let me speak
Our people used to live In beauty and harmony
A way unknown to foreign eyes
A way being forgotten through Indigenous eyes
It is not us that pollute and litter our lands
But they that pollute and litter our minds
We are losing the fight,
we our losing out minds

I cry, I cry for our loss
I cry for you
I shall cry till the day the indigenous ways die.

© Pernell Thomas

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