Native American Native American: Anonymous
My Lai Massacre Victims.
Photo: Ronald L. Haeberle.

Woman Who Knows She is Alive

I am an old woman, now
But it wasn't always so,
I too, was once a child
So very long ago.

We lived upon the prairie
And sang to the spirits, above
We asked them to protect us
As we sang our songs of love.

We lived by the water, at Sand Creek
We played in the long prairie grass
Hide and seek, with the others
As we watched the seasons pass.

Father planted maize and corn
Mother sewed our beads,
North America lay before us
We children were it's seeds.

But the village is destroyed, now
My father is in the earth,
They took my mother, before us
As we sheltered by the hearth.
We ran to hide in the gulley
Where the water trickles below
But the soldiers found us there
Why they spared me, I'll never know.

I thought that Little-Wing was sleeping
But she would never wake
As I stood in grief and weeping
Amidst the devastation and the rape,
Because I was so very small
Perhaps one human-being
Saw, his own child, in my eyes
Somewhere in his conscience
Is where the answer lies.

Last night, I spoke to my mother, in a dream
And I helped to braid her hair,
She is with the spirits, now
And her face is young and fair,
In the great-valley, beyond this life
There is no death, nor sorrow
There is no sunrise, noon or night,
And yesterday is tomorrow.

My name was Little-Voice That Soars,
Until that terrible day,
There was no singing, after that
For there are no words to say.
Just pray to the spirits for the children
For all of the children, of the world
This gift of life is ours, for the giving,
I am The Woman Who Knows She Is Alive,
For I am here, among the living.

In memory of the Cheyenne men, women and children, victims of The Sand Creek massacre - November 29 - 1864, and to the victims of Mai Lai, South Vietnam - 1968.