Lament for My Tribe

my poet tribe was taken so
quickly I missed the ending
that stripped me of warm communion
the sun never came out again but
i kept expecting it to rise
like it had every day of my
former life yes i found my
truest love, stole away
with her yes the ice had
gone out on the lake down
to the bottom churning
all beings in a vast and new
turning toward Spring sent
to bring new life, but this birth
now feels more like death

days when i wake to unexplained
tears my heart breaks for the loss
i paint the relief i hope for…
old tribe members remember me
putting my feathers back in place
maybe even touching my face
knitting my arms and legs back onto my torso
we will sing ourselves young again
sitting by the fire of our recently
flamed embers knowing that
some trees never grow again
they just lie protruding and still
in the lake a hazard to speeding boats
but nothing more quietly drowning
with their heads just above water

my native ancestors felt this genocide
even now those indigenous to the suffering of being
original people are hunted for the last
places on earth to be exploited maybe
that is at least part of my bone grinding sorrow
as the church ladies ask for donations of old
clothes to send to American Tribal people
imprisoned in poverty and disdain
even now when the sun is rising through
fog the weeping still comes easy
alone and in hiding my daily prayer
a wish to more than survive
find passion again and one other
member of the tribe unclaimed
by disease and the need to assimilate
for daily bread may we trust
the very creator of earth and stars
please send me one tough sweet
wandering bard who escaped the
cleansing not just ethnic but epic

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