The Assimilated

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This is one of the first poems that I have written. Things like this happened on a regular basis, all for the natives’ “common good”. It is a horrible part of American history and must never be forgotten. Sure, genocide happens all the time, throughout the entire world, but this hits us right in the hearts: OUR HOME. People often say, it happened, get over it. Well, I’m sorry, I can’t. Not when my people are STILL suffering even today, hundreds of years after the fact. I will never forget, as these are my people and it has made us what we are today. Innocent people died at the hands of those who thought they had every right to kill whoever stood in their way, with their gods’ blessing. I am glad we have learned the lessons of history. I am glad we have come so far now, yet the actions of others HAS had a profound effect up on my people. My people still suffer and as long as they do, I will continue to march on, letting my words open your eyes. I will continue to let my words point out their plight, their suffering and their tears. I will never forget, as long as I can still hear the cries of my ancestors.

“Assimilated”

Soldiers tore him from his mothers’ arms
Screaming, kicking wildly, fighting desperately
To return to the safety of her arms
Shoved in the back of a wagon with so many others
All of them scared, howling, wailing in pain, until they stop
Silently, with wide eyes, they peer out of the back
Gazing in sheer horror at the silhouettes
White demons, crooked smiles, yellow teeth
Dirty, unwashed smells oozing from their pores
For an instant, Spirit Warrior could see their red eyes
They glare at him, pointing with their bony fingers
One by one they haul the children out
Depositing them roughly on the ground
Pushing, prodding them with sticks, like cattle
Urging them forward
The tired, disoriented children plod towards the building
Where more demons wait, bloodthirsty, unfeeling and cold
Their hearts filled with hate and anger
Holding shiny sharp shears, their mouths turned into vicious sneers
One by one the children are grabbed and lined up
Clothes torn from their bodies
Their hair cut short, despite their howls of grief
Thousands of braids lie forlornly on the floor, the smell of fabric burning
Scrubbed harshly and made to wear strange clothes
Twenty lashes for speaking their own language
The whip hisses and snarls throughout the day
You can hear them screaming for their mother
Made to sleep on hard boxes, woken up at dawn
Only to eat moldy bread, rancid meat and thick tasteless gruel
Thousands fall sick and die horribly diseased
Sometimes they die alone in the woods, frozen and far away from home
Many are whipped, raped, abused, starved and sickened unto death
Their white headstones gleam eerily at night
In the cemetery behind the school house
Morbid reminders of “good intentions”
But it’s okay, now they are “assimilated”
Now they are living the “American Dream”
 

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