A Trail of Tears

(teachers.sduhsd.net)
(teachers.sduhsd.net)

By: Wayne Brown

 

First they took the Choctaw in 1831 to move to new land in the west

The federal government had decreed, for the Indian they knew best

Westward they walked for days and weeks until reaching the end

Pushed from their lands in the south where the Trail of Tears begins

 

Next came the Seminole who lost their lands in the year of 1832

Forced to walk the trail westward to a home completely new

Women, children, warriors all pushed with threats and fears

Trudging to a land far from home along the Trail of Tears

 

1834 came and the Creek Tribes received their final decree

The tribe would join others; never their home again to see

Packed up with all they owned and forced to walk all the way

The Creek struggled across the Trail of Tears day by ugly day

 

Then it was the Chickasaw in 1837 followed by Cherokee in ‘38

They were the last of the bands and the movement could not wait

Four thousand Cherokee suffered and died along the trail west

The Trail of Tears proved to be the white eye’s cruelest test

 

Thirst, starvation, despair and disease all took a heavy toll

The Trail took their lives on earth and the Spirit took their soul

Banished out to “no man’s land” beyond the great river’s flow

Taken to a hellish place where only the Trail of Tears could go

 

Winter’s cold, and smallpox robbed souls all along the way

Death stood before each tribe with the start of each new day

Thousands perished while back home white eyes divided the gain

While thousands forced upon a trail where the tears flowed like rain

 

Herded into a land where there was barely a tree in sight

Forcibly moved along the trail throughout day on into night

Dying as they walked the trail; suffering the punishment and the fears

Dying slowly of a loss pride as they trudged upon the Trail of Tears

 

The greed of the white eyes marks the trail upon the soils

Lands taken from the tribal bands for which to share the spoils

Stripped of their home, their lives, took their humble pride

Banished down a Trail of Tears; the white man’s genocide

 

© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.

More by this Author


Comments 33 comments

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

Great tribute to the First People. I am Cherokee and Choctaw. We should always remember.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Well done Wayne.


Partisan Patriot 5 years ago

wow Wayne; Great tribute to our native American Heritage; I guess we were not always the good guy!Rated up and awesome


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Wayne, this was interesting and well done. It is interesting there is not much about this in the history books. Perhaps we are somewhat ashamed of this action by our government?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

You produce quality work, at a remarkable pace.


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

Wayne...Bravo! Another awesome poetic portrayal of history! I think you should really consider a history book of poetry and prose! I loved this, my grandmother's mother was a child who lost her mother on the Trail of Tears. Beautifully Done!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Pamela N Red...Yes we should we remember...a great lesson for us all. WB

@WillStarr...Thanks Will, I appreciate the confidence! WB

@Partisan Patriot...Hey, I told you that we could critic one another...thanks for getting it started! WB

@Old Poolman...We have some dark moments in our past but I think we learned something...at least some of us did. WB

@mckbirdks...Wow! Thanks for those great words. I really try to my my stuff high quality. I am not a very good poet so I have to pray when I write these. I appreciate the fact that you appreciate it! WB

@K Burns Darling...History works well with poetry once you understand the picture. Poetry limits the word so you only get to use those that were important to the event. I think that is the reason that I seek it out. Thank you for the encouragement! WB


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Thank you for history in brilliant poetry. Well done.

I recently read an anniversary edition of "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee". An exceptional read--westward expansion from the Indian perspective.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oklahoma is still the stepchild state of the union. Mostly because of all the outcast Native American tribes being forced to live there still.

The trail of tears was just like herding cattle which is something the white eyes did very well. Along with shooting buffalo.

Did we really learn anything, Wayne? Aren't we still trying to herd people into groups? And force "democracy" onto all we see? How's that working out for us?


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I love this Wayne...also the music. One of the greatest books I have ever read was "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." I think it should be required reading in the public school system.

I didn't know we could add music to our hubs. thank you!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

Great job! My parents used to take us every year to an outdoor drama called "Unto These Hills" in North Carolina. They wanted us to know the real American history since we have Cherokee on both sides of the family. I think alot of people are still not aware of how shamefully Native Americans wete treated.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Very moving tribute to a people who were treated so shamefully. In the 60's I had to write a paper about a "disadvantaged" group of people. Almost the entire class wrote about African Americans. I wrote about the American Indian and what I learned about their treatment still haunts me. Well done. Voted up and awesome.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 5 years ago

Well Done Wayne. Man can be ruthless with one hand and so very loving with other. If we can ever get them to work in tandem, we might get somewhere.


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

Brilliant!!! Sad, lovely, beautiful lyrics. The one animal in the world I fear is man. We have so much to answer for. Cruelty to each other that you would never find in any other breed. Loved it, well done


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Ken R Abell...Thank you, Ken...I would tackle that one if I were not so far behind reading what I have in piles now...I need more time! I will keep that one in mind. Thanks. WB

@Austinstar...So very true...they were herded like cattle and moved on the basis of flawed rationale. Almost every time they were moved it was driven by some level of greed on the part of the white men ranging from just wanting the lands to finding gold and oil. Democracy tends to work in the other direction...common thinkers form groups willing to compromise for the common good. Our problem today in America is everyone seems to want to be someone else first and an American second...Thanks WB

@Geena East...Oh yes, you can dress your hubs in high fashion if you so choose just using those little extra box options at the top right hand side. I find that adding music is a nice touch to finding the tone of the story. Ken Abell also mentioned that same book above in his comments. I have to put it on my readin list. WB

@DIYWeddingPlanner...That was a smart move by your parents. In today's world, it seems everyone wants to sweep our true history under the carpet. Of course, this part of it suits their needs to shame the American. Not that we earned any points for our actions back then but we did learn from it and in that light it is important that others study it. I think it is ironic that the Native Americans are now building casinos everywhere and taking their money back from the white man! LOL! WB

@breakfastpop....The Native Americans were shamed and humble to the point of destroying their pride and self-esteem. Tribes still suffer those feelings and losses even today and are left feeling like less than citizens of a country they rightly owned in the beginning. The ugliness of humanity comes to the surface when greed and avarice become the motivations.

@Joni Douglas...You are so right. How could so much evil and so much good come literally from the same place. In our hearts, I think most of us are driven by the good but greed brings forth and rationalizes evil. Maybe one day we will find the balance. Thanks for the great comments. WB

@thebluestar...In nature there is the natural instinct of survival of the fittest. Mankind does not have to depend on that instinct yet there is evidence that he does. WB


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

You remind us, Wayne, that we in the United States have been far from being "politically correct" in our history - especially toward the people who were here first - the American Indians.

This is a beautiful but haunting poem reminding us of our shameful past.


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

As you say we all have basic instincts, survival of the fittest as you point out and selfishness. Although we believe that many people would support us in every day life, especially all those whom we love, and supposedly love us, and yet how many times are we dissapointed with results. I would like a little bit of humanity and courage seen in many men, the scale of justice does not always need to lower on the fallen side. After all who are we to judge what is correct. Your hub reminds me so much of why I have a conscience, probably why I am a bad business woman but a loyal friend.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...Yes, my intent is not to glamorize the event but to say that it did happen and we should learn enough from it that it should never happen again. Thanks much! WB

@thebluestar...Amen to those comments. My parents raised me to do right by other people first and foremost. It is something that I cannot in good faith turn my back on and that undermines my ability to employ avarice and greed as a basis for my business decisions. That's a good thing but poses no advantages in today's world. That's okay, I sleep good and have lots of friends as well. Thank you so much for the great feedback! WB


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Another rivetting hub by the cowboy poet. I had studied about native american tribes in college, and the lingering effects of these forced evictions on the tribes. Many of the after effects still permeate the reservations. Thank you for sharing.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

Beautiful tribute to proud people. So sad, such a black mark on our history. What a way to thank the natives for thier initial hospitality in the Pilgrim days! Shameful!

I have a poem along similar lines. I must look it up and post it.

@Old Poolman--you must remember--"history" is not often the truth--history is written by the victors.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Beautiful videos and brilliant music, however, very sad commentary in poetic form. You are a poet Wayne, give yourself full credit for that, I feel your humbleness as I do mine when I receive accolades. You move people with your writes, therefore you are not only a creative writer, alas a poet as well.

The plight of the Indian nations both in your country and mine is a historically sad one at best. Thank you for sharing this and getting it out in memory to our native brothers and sisters. peace Amigo


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@A.A. Zavala...Thank you! You comments are right on. The Native Americans still suffer today in many ways mostly from their broken spirit. WB

@DML....Thank you...it was a dark time in our history and I have to wonder how the stories surrounding the viscious attacks by the Indians were shaped by the whole thing. WB

@saddlerider1...Very true, Ken...it would be nice to have a "do over" on that portion of our past. Thanks much for the good words Sir...it means a lot! WB


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I thought the timetable of interest.I am primarily aware of Andrew Jackson's role, which in and of itself was somewhat ambiguous.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Thanks for a sad but beautiful poem. The Caddos were also forced to Oklahoma from East Texas because the farmland was too good -- and that is after they had experimented with crop rotation.

I imagine you have seen the End of Trails sculpture at the Natl Cowboy Museum in OK City. Same artist (Fraser) as the buffalo nickel. Both lovely.

http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/education/less...


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@dahoglund...Andrew Jackson was very instrumental in the process but certainly not alone in carrying it out. Unfortunately, I think the white men of the time looked upon the Indians as mere savages possessing little or no real human attributes thus they could rationalize mistreating them. A sad day. WB

@Truckstop Sally....Thank you. I have been wanting to write on this subject for a while but could not find the right mix of words. It finally came together for me this weekend. WB


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

WB -- I almost hate to admit it because your hub is so important and meaningful, but thinking about Native Americans and the way they thought about their world gave me the idea to use pourquois (why stories) as my latest hub (Turtles). Forgive me my silly story, but thanks for the inspiration. Your hubs always make me think . . . and that is a good thing.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Truckstop Sally...You know what..If I do anything that inspires someone to do something, I will take it as the highest of compliments any day! This is why we are here...inspire each other! WB


gajanis786 profile image

gajanis786 5 years ago

Very good narration again of an important history chapter which is still as painful and sad event for the readers today as it was almost two hundred years ago.Thanks.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@gajanis786...Thank you! Between our actions toward the Native Americans and the issue of slavery, we Americans have had more grandiose moments in our history. It is an ugly scar but I suppose it is our scar to bear and it probably never should be forgotten lest we do it again. WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I truly loved this - and both videos. You put forth so much effort in your hubs! Those pictures were fantastic. Oh - I am from the Seminole Tribe:-). Thank you.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...Blow, blow Seminole Wind, blow like you're never gonna blow again....loved that song! This was a sad time in our history. Two of the ugliest aspects of our history as Americans is our treatment of the Native American and the issue of Slavery. Some might argue that slavery was a necessary evil of the times but I don't know that there is a viable argument for what we did to the tribes of North America other than sheer greed. Our repentance should be our willingness to talk about those times and our desire to celebrate the heritage of the Native American. There are days that are just as important as "Black History Month" and "Martin Luther King Day". We do little in that regard...too little. WB


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Now how can an Indian girl not like a cowboy who thinks like that:). It is so sad, isn't it! James Taylor - I think he remade that song. (Seminole Wind) I saw him and Carol King in concert here about 6 months ago. Fabulous! The Eagles also have a beautiful song about this, I bet you know that! This was up and all that WB!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working