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

 

RED FEATHER

 

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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