Posts Tagged ‘Cherokee’

This is a Spoon River, Dramatic Monologue.  I hope you will enjoy it.




What have they done!

Me, who loathed pretense,

lying here in pink lace.

A beaded-doeskin girl.

yet, here I lie

with satin ribbons

cascading across my breast.

I would rather be laid to rest

in my underwear.

Curls! Why did they

cut off my trademark

braids!  My long black hair

was my pride – – braided

and fastened at the ends

with beaded twine.

Foolish little pearls replace

the twisted-leather thong

earrings, made by my friend

of the Cherokee nation.

They have even removed

the braided-hair bracelet

that I had sworn to wear

to my grave


“Doesn’t she look pretty?”

That’s what they said,

as they gazed at the paradox

carefully laid out

in the satin lined box.

I wanted to shout,

“My adopted name may be

etched in stone, but I am still

Red Feather.”


I lie here, six feet of earth

separating me from reality.

Dressed as a debutante, and

my treasured tokens discarded

as if of no importance.

Stripped forever

of my tribal identity.

I am Red Feather


9/6/95     Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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            TRAIL OF TEARS


Hear their mournful cries of anguish

Hear the children’s cries of hunger

See the rags of tattered clothing

See the struggles of the dying

Marching slowly from their homeland

Traveling in the worst of winters

Heavy snowfall, wet and blinding

Covering bodies of the fallen

Over hills and through the valleys

Prodded like a herd of cattle

Yielding to this tragic journey

Helpless in their indignation


Hear the prayers that they send soaring

Feel the pain when pride is wounded

See the change in eyes so saddened

Feel their courage slowly flagging

People of the Cherokee nation

Victims of the white man’s power

Forced again into submission

Forced from lands known as tribal

Sixteen thousand relocated

Thousands left in unmarked graves

On a path of degradation

History’s shameful Trail Of Tears


3/14/91                Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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