The Desolation Of The Native American Indians By The White Man
The Trail of Tears From My People
Black against the pastel sun he stands,
the lone flutist plays on a reservation.
Music tells of the heartache white men gave,
to the dwindling and proud Indian Nation.
They did not take from or abuse the land,
they knew it was not theirs.
They took only what they needed to live,
being thankful in smoke-filled prayers .
Men came from the white man's army,
deadly presents in an army box.
In false friendship army blankets handed out,
filled with white man's small pox.
Forced to march across the land,
for many miles they could not stop.
Many died along the way buried,
high amid the pine-covered mountaintop.
Babies starving from mothers dry of milk,
leather-faced old ones with hair of corn silk.
Now in earth they lie in papoose and blanket,
handmade prayer beads buried with them,
as a gift to the Great Spirit to thank it.
Feel them in the wind and hear them,
echoing across land and in deep forest.
Whispering of a great people all but lost,
unified spirits sing in sorrowful chorus.
Sent away with no apologies or any reparations,
their stories passed on to their children,
of the White man's desecrations.
My father's grandmother, Pinta Rose Manhart, was
a full-blood American Indian who married a German man.
She died at the hands of her husband, her children placed in an orphanage.
Her husband kept the land that was endowed by the U.S.
government to Pinta Rose and her children, and kept it
for himself. He remarried and had more children, leaving his
Native American children in the orphanage. My
grandfather Willie Manhart, ran away from the orphanage,
became a working hobo, taking jobs and traveling by
railroad car. He settled back in Florida, where his mother's
people were from. There he met my Grandmother,
Ruby Manhart. Willie led a sorrow-filled life,forced to
hide his heritage from fear and from shame. But Paw-Paw
Willie told stories of his proud and beautiful mother, and the
siblings he never saw again.