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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1606877-Weeping-at-Bear-River
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Cultural · #1606877
...creations of the Great Spirit
Weeping at Bear River



Screams of children sliced through
the icy morning winds—
they could find no place to hide.
One after another, young bodies
crumpled to ground…
the light of morning taken from their eyes.
Black smoke billowed
from the barrels of guns.

Moans of dying mothers withered
into the fresh-fallen snow.
Their cries muffled,
watching the children die—
one by one.
The breath of the mothers of the Shoshone
disappeared into gray vapors
amid the blackness.

And whispering spirits tarry,
weeping at Bear River.

Fear gripped the daughters of the Shoshone—
violated, bloody, and
spittle-covered, they stared into
the eyes of vile,
vehement men.

In winter’s past,
the daughters played here,
close to warm tepees,
creating figures in the snow.
Now, they lay naked, exposed,
lingering near death,
trembling,
far from warmth,
awaiting the hatchet’s blow.

Unborn infants,
once comfortable in the womb
of nurturing mothers,
lay scattered about,
tossed upon crimson-stained snow,
ripped from the belly,
the life-blood flowing from
their unformed bodies—
wretched,
wanton acts of wickedness.

And whispering spirits tarry,
weeping at Bear River.

The warriors, young and old,
fought bravely
to defend the homes of the
the Valley People,
as the guns of the militia
exploded across the river.

But soon, the Shoshone rifles
were silent. The rounds had all been fired.
But the cold, angry soldiers
rode rampant through the village,
firing bullet after bullet after bullet after bullet
into the bodies of the unarmed Shoshone.

Two hundred and fifty Shoshone People,
creations of the Great Spirit -
men, women, boys, and girls -
lay dead, their tortured bodies
left for the wolves and crows to
feast upon—frozen in crimson snow.
“Lice and nits,” the white Colonel called them.

The survivors wept and their tears tasted like salt;
their hearts felt heavy; their souls grieved;
the blood of their wounds ran red
and they prayed to the Great Spirit—
the Shoshone People.

And whispering spirits tarry,
weeping at Bear River.




*This poem is based on a true story - at Bear River.
© Copyright 2009 Lawrence (lrpowers at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1606877-Weeping-at-Bear-River