Sacred Naming

Colorful Words

Power flows

in the lives behind us:

the quintessential grandmother,

I walk transmitting lore

like a precise poem:

Ponca, Kansas, Omaha

Osage, Sioux, O-gah-pah

as we splash in the puddled

tarmac, the black shell covering

the violations we still carry

and enact on our national stage.

Delaware, Sioux, Chippewa,

Erie, Piankashaw, Miami.

My ancestors flooded these shores

in a great migration to

stun 500 nations, came pouring

over the ocean, unstoppable waves

that turned bloody in our insistence

to claim these sacred places, never

bothering to learn the names

of the peoples we tried to erase.

We dance with our victims —

Iroquois, Seneca, Kickapoo,

Shawnee, Potawatomi —

now part of our own shadows,

and we are doomed to repeat

what we cannot hold in our hearts.

Wyandot, Mosopelea, Ofo

all clamor to be honored

in these stories we hand down

patting the mud pies, singing

as the rain soaks us

with holy water and we bow

to the sacred earth beneath us

all the hidden yearning

specters of those who came before.

 

 

Inspired by: Walk, Violation, Migration, Rubric, Quintessential

And the documentary 500 Nations which you can watch, free, here.

Dedicated to the native tribes who lived in Indiana.

Published by

Victoria Stuart

I'm a poet, philosopher and inner seeker. A giver, lover and a healer who studies the heart.

3 thoughts on “Sacred Naming”

  1. I love this! You have written a fine summation of our regretful actions towards the natives of this land. My research leads me into the dark days of California, when the gold rush caused heinous decimation of the tribes there.

    Liked by 1 person

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