Cherokee Woman Remembers …
An old Cherokee woman remembers the Trail of Tears
She remembers the tears after all these years.
Her mind drifted back to those days when she walked with Ani-Yu’whya, The People.
She was young and strong then and survived the long march
That killed so many, the old and sick did not make it.
It was late in the evening, summer was waning into fall. The leaves were turning yellow and slowly falling.
The old wrinkled Cherokee woman, lying on her bed, was fully aware that she would see no more tomorrows.
Surrounded by her loving family and friends, she feels their grief as she listens to their mournful sorrows.
Her mind is drifting back to uncertain days of long ago,
She hears the soft percussion of a drum from a distance.
She remembers the wild buffalo and listens to crickets chirping in the green forest trees.
The aroma from a glowing crackling fire drifted to her as she savored the soft tingling breeze.
So many thoughts of her loving husband who passed on long ago,
Her children and grandchildren, the contentment of watching them thrive and grow.
She remembers the clear blue river that fed her people, their faith in Great Spirit and her unknowing remorseful fate.
The dark day.
Her people were forced to march and relocate
She remembers the tears, after all these years.
She remembers her last childbirth while marching to the new unfamiliar reservation,
And the hole she dug in the ground for the river of life that her body would release.
Then gentle Cherokee friend hands caught the child that would rest alone in peace.
Memory of the sadness flooded her mind as they all shed tears when the night air was void of a newborn’s sweet sound,
And her newborn was left in unfamiliar ground.
She remembers life on the old reservation.
The sadness she witnessed
From her prideful Cherokee Nation.
No more buffalo, no more clear blue rivers.
Happy chanting ceased to exist.
Only memories left of all the happy days
They all sadly missed.
She knew her time had come to depart and she did not fear it.
Her eyelids close as she drifts away to where her ancestors and loved ones await her spirit.
Her unhappy day’s are over,
As she is tearfully placed in the ancestral burial mound.
Ruby Fuller © Copyright 2016
Elizabeth “Betsy” Brown Stephens (1903), Cherokee
Walked The Trail of Tears in 1838
Wikipedia Public Domain