Half of Me, All of Me This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 27, 2012
I want to talk about The Trail of Tears.
How the Europeans forced us away from our land.
How so many of us had to cease our existence
To make their wish, of new land
Come true
How no one was ever punished for the
Lives lost.

I want to talk about
How Americans never talk about the
Blood on their hands
But dwell on the blood shed by Hitler,
Because Americans were the heroes there.

I want to talk about
How no one came to save us.
How our red skin bled red blood
But all anyone did
Was step over the mangled bodies.
They took our home away from us,
But one of us would be punished
For taking a bottle
Of their liquid strength.

How something we protected for so long
Was pried from us,
Like a lollipop
From a baby.
They came with guns
Shooting us
We could pull an arrow.
Bringing blankets coated
In deadly poisons
Catching us blind.

I want to talk about
How Americans celebrate
Columbus Day
The day that he arrived
To claim part of the Earth
How I scowl at the sound of his name--
He probably stole that too.

I want to talk about
The small amount of land
That was
To us
After it was
From us.
How twice a year, my family
Goes to what is left of
Our land
The Reservation,
Which we now have to pay, to keep grasp of.
How my father fought through school
Because he is a Menominee Indian
With Dark Hair, eyes, and skin
Contrasting against blue eyes,
Blond hair
And white skin.

We contrasted
Not only in appearance,
But in our values
Of the land that supports our feet
And the animals that
Fill our stomachs.
Apparently the pale ones
Believed they belong here more than
Us red ones do.

I want to talk about
How my long black hair is put
Into injun braids
And I know half of where I came from.
How I love my mother, but not the story
Behind how she got here.
How our heritage is running out
Because our freedom was demolished.
How this land was no one’s land
To take.

I want to talk about
How we took care of our home
Just to have it be taken
Away by vain men,
With pale skin and blue eyes
Blue, like the sea they sailed,
To redden our home.

How on our journey from our home
To somewhere we no longer knew,
Consisted of starvation
And broken spirits
How land of the free
Home of the brave
Far before it began.

I want to talk about
How the green in my eyes,
Is the jealousy I wear
Because my siblings look more
Indian than I do.
How I am half of my enemy.
How my skin is as pale as
The pale ones,
But my love
For my land, is more
Than they can understand.
How it angers me to see trees ripped
From the ground, so
People can plant flowers.
How the need
For me to get our story out,
Eats my native soul alive.

I want to talk about
My Trail of Tears.

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