Grace and Peace to you.
The tribes in you that thrived
before the others came and colonized,
the songs, the dances and the people
dancing them weren’t perfect, not at all:
they stole and fought and failed.
The histories they told that others buried,
the stories in the languages they banned,
the songs that someone other
than the prairies silenced
weren’t ones the others
should have traded for their own,
but they were true.
The fenceless land that spoke to them
was not some gilded Eden,
any more than they were those
the movies said they were.
It’s not that it was better,
though much of it was better,
but this: that it was yours,
and it was silenced.
That still the speaking land is there
beneath your paving and your walls,
a whole, great, vibrant people,
singing still, and dancing,
telling stories in your land.
That you don’t have to sell this island
one more time.
Walk this path and listen for them,
weeping, maybe, just at first,
along that trail of tears,
but singing, too, still singing,
dancing life in one great circle
in a song that all the armies in the world
can never conquer, never have.
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