The Ancestors Are Crying

A poem by Linda Orannhawk

The Ancestors are crying
do you hear them ?
We have been shattered, tattered and worn
our babies and old ones
wrapped in your blankets
heartbeats smothered out by your disease
Our warriors numbed with the lure of alcohol
The Ancestors cry

We have lain broken on the trail
forced from our homes
your bullets ripped through us
young and old
and we lay with Big Foot in the snow
The Ancestors cry

Mutilation, slaughter and butcher
Chivington’s determination to annihilate
beat the red out of the Indian
convert, assimilate, and destroy
All nations red
The Ancestors cry

Desecrate, destroy the sacred grounds
dig them up, pave it over, give the remains
to the prez’s secret society or UC Berkeley
Dishonor the old ones
dishonor all Indigenous people
The Ancestors are crying
do you hear them ?

They are crying out to us
they hear us and weep with us
in our times of pain
We weep now
with the atrocities against the souls
of our Ancestors.

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