Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Trail of Crystallized Tears

We wash across the land,
driven by a wind of greed
and fear, herded
from the land to a land,
learning how many ways,
how many times,
a man, a woman, a child
can die: murder
can be accomplished
by more than gun and knife.

We stream in suffering,
torn from the lands
of our ancestors,
a journey begun within
a shame sufficient
in its own death, flowing
a thousand crystallized miles,
the trail of crystallized tears,
to be cast upon, gasping,
a beach of crystallized sands.

This poem is submitted for One Shoot Sunday sponsored by One Stop Poetry. To see other poems based on the photo prompt, please visit the site.

This photo took me in a direction I did not expect to go, a direction not suggested by the photograph or the photographer. I started with a meditation, and ended with the Trail of Tears. You can learn more about the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail at Wikipedia.

Photograph by Roger Allen Baut for One Stop Poetry. Used with permission.


Sandra Heska King said...

"murder can be accomplished
by more than gun and knife."

That really stuck out to me.

I knew your theme immediately. I'm so much more sensitive, I think, because of my future son-in-law who is Odawa.

Gigi Ann said...

I briefly looked over the Wikipedia article, but will read it in more detail this afternoon when I have more time. Thanks for sharing this very sensitive information.

JL Dodge said...

The trail of tears is a heartbreaking look at what american did to the Indian Nation. We love your take on the photo this poem is wonderful !

Louise Gallagher said...

Thank you Glynn -- your poem is a healing gift to the Trial of Tears.

Duane Carter said...

As one who lives on the historic "Trail of Tears" your poem was intensely powerful to me. Wow. Deeply moving. Thanks.

hedgewitch said...

Excellent work. And the Trail of Tears is a subject worth many poems and writings. You've left the words loose enough that many similar tragedies can ride within, also, making us examine the sadder and even larger picture of why these things continue to happen over and over.

Maureen said...

The history is awful enough; what continues to this day is America's great shame.

Thoughtful, thought-provoking poem.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly ashamed of how little I know about American history, but although this was written for the Genoside of Native Americans it translate to modern day distaters/tragedies and historical dates that we can all relate to. Powerful write.

Steve Isaak said...

Good, theme- and mood-solid piece. Effective.

amf said...

really appreciated your take on the prompt..Dee Brown's book is one I list as life changing. beautiful tribute ~

gautami tripathy said...

Wonderful reminder...

limitless space

Duane Scott said...

Love this poem! :)