Wicked to Your War Paint

February 27, 2011
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Wicked to your war paint
They sell you as a savage
Your feral ways and primitive looks
Supply the dirty image

They say you kill white men
And drink our Christian blood
And cut off our ringed fingers
And feed them to your children

Those who have heard your loud war cry
Say it’s like the devil
Rising up from the darkest hell
To steal our soul for your collection

Your horses are like crows
Your women ugly and unclean
Your children the spawn of demons
And your dogs the wolves of hell

I went to fight you for I had heard the worst
That you hack away our limbs and heart
Until there is nothing left

We fought you on that battlefield
With our rifles carefully aimed
Our arms were quivering ever so slightly
Who wouldn’t be afraid?

You were savage, a beast, something to be feared
With skin as red as the sun, they said
I wanted to kill you all
But when I saw your painted faces and your meaningful eyes
Something inside me changed and my heart grew larger that day

You killed off my brothers, my soldiers of war
But you knew I was different
You spared me my life
And took me to your camp

I met the chief, a wise old man
And we smoked for many moon
I hunted the deer across the sky
Capturing the stars for my own collection
Just like they said you did for our souls

I lived among you and saw your people
For what they really were
A gentle nation of peace and great kindness for the Earth


I hunted with the warriors
And cooked with the woman
I played with the children
And wrestled with the dogs

I rode your horses across the grass
Learning new tricks without the saddle
We made good medicine together

Then I became one of you

Beads and claws, feathers and fur
Belief and skill, courage and love
Everything it took to be you

I loved our people
I loved our land
I loved who we were

And then one day, I saw the white man
Battling with each other
Using those thunder sticks
Trampling on those who did nothing


I knew then what went wrong
Why I had been so naïve

Seeing those battles
Fighting those fights
I was stupid then
I was stupid then
And now I think I see the white man
For what they did to you
For what they did to us

White man
Wicked to your war paint





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