It wasn’t planned. I was reading a book about the Constitution and the American Founders. It included two chapters on Andrew Jackson and how popular, democratic sentiment ran counter to the principles underlying the Constitution. The example cited was Jackson’s determination to remover the five native American tribes collectively known as the Cherokees from their ancestral lands, primarily in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. The removal, which began in the early 1830s, was ultimately carried out by Jackson’s successor, Martin Van Buren, in 1838. Thousands of people died on the “Trail of Tears” to forcible resettlement in Oklahoma.
From that book, I turned to Native: Poems by Jesse LoVasco. It wasn’t intentional on my part; it was the simply the next book to read. Without a single reference to the Cherokee tribes or the Trail of Tears, many of the poems included in the collection told that story. I read the first few poems and began to hear the theme music from “The Twilight Zone” playing in my head.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.