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Promised Land

bentonindian2 [1]121 words

Rousseau’s brave savages
had circled her covered wagon,
leaving vestiges
of life that could have been:

dreams of a promised land,
a son and rag-doll daughter,
a scalped Scottish husband,
and not a drop of water.

Raping her on the prairie
from nightfall to red dawn,
they did not call her “Mary,”
but “whore of the Cheyenne.”

They tethered her with rope,
taught her new kinds of pain,
her only living hope:
the fury of white men.

Years later she would watch
the braves flee cannon shot,
the chief squeal like a wretch,
the buffalo meat rot.

Three blows with a hatchet
would prove her only saviour,
a scalped head and a facelift.
And no tears could raise her.

23 February 2014