Poetry Rule No. 27 Your ‘brief case’ is an important tool; use it well, use it wisely

The Trail of Tears

The trail goes on and on and on and on and on
our homelands now are many miles away
hearts broken by the power of the gun

Where once we looked to stars and moon and sun
in that place now we can no longer stay
this trail of dread goes on and on and on

Our pace is slow, we have no strength to run
heads bowed and burdened, slower every day
hope beaten by the power of the gun

We fought our battles, bitter every one
but bullets beat our arrows come what may
and still the trail goes on and on and on

There is no joy, nor laughter, and no fun
our children have no time or place to play
hearts broken by the power of the gun

So onward we must tread, our old life gone
feet seeping sorrow into weeping clay
the trail goes on and on and on and on and on
hope beaten by the power of the gun

© Maggie Baker 2017

This poem was inspired by the painting of the same name by Robert Lindneux 1942. With the passage of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act in 1830, the movement of Indians from their lands east of the Mississippi River to undeveloped territories of the “west” had begun.  Between 1838 and 1839 the Cherokee nation was forced, under military escort, to leave their sacred grounds and move to what is now Oklahoma.  It is said that over one-quarter of the fifteen thousand expelled Cherokee Indians died on the marches from exhaustion, exposure, hunger and disease.  The Cherokee people came to call the marching path, the “Trail of Tears” to represent their suffering. … The “Trail of Tears” by Robert Lindneux (1942), is one of the more famous Native American paintings and shows the downtrodden warriors and their families traveling to a new and unfamiliar land. http://www.sussexvt.k12.de.us/science/The%20History%20of%20the%20World%201500-1899/Trail%20of%20Tears.htm