Cherokee Rose - Poetry by Rick Beck   
"Cherokee Rose"
Poetry by Rick Beck
While driving my truck across country, I came upon this scene.

Native Americans

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Cherokee Rose - Poetry by Rick Beck

There's a village in the background
There are stands up on the hill
The tourists shop for trinkets
No Red men left to kill

This is what they are left with
Their culture had no place to live
These are the proud ancestors
That have nothing left to give

Trinkets of a people's past
They are the white man's rave
Pay a few bucks for symbols
Of a people they would not save

We took the land where their ancestors roamed
With promises of better places we'd give
When they were starving and cold
We told them at least we were letting them live

With names like Craze Horse and Sitting Bull
It was easy to make savages of them
then we could inflict our holocaust
After all savages don't have many friends

They dared to stand against the land
And the men that didn't want them to live
They fought armies sent to kill
Their lives were all that was left to give

A hundred years since Wounded Knee
Where we at last kept our word
We told them deny your culture or die
Like Shadows their ghosts are heard

They sell their trinkets on the hill
Quiet Indians we could not kill
They've finally found a way to serve
The masters who broke their will

A hundred treaties they were told to sign
Not one allowed them to live
A hundred treaties filled with hollow words
What were they left to give

What was it that was won or lost
When we finally destroyed their will
Their culture came at too great a cost
There are no red men left to kill

In my heart there is a spirit crying
For a people I was not able to know
Yet I no longer feel the people dying
There is a garden starting to grow

For many years a race has withered
Bent and hiding their eyes from view
It's a proud people I now see standing
Their culture has been born anew

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"Cherokee Rose" Copyright © 1 August 1998 OLYMPIA50. All rights reserved.
    This work may not be duplicated in any form (physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise) without the author's written permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. All individuals depicted are fictional with any resemblance to real persons being purely coincidental.

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