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This is about being a half Cherokee/half Irish/Welsh kid, growing up in rural Indiana.

Half Breed

Imageby Shawn Blackhawk21 Jul 2014

I know who I am
Bastard child
Suckled on the breast of poverty.
Thrown away like trash,
Left to live on your
Empty dreams.
Plucked from obscurity,
Named again.
Power in the naming of three,
Not quite what they expected.
Blood of my ancestors courses through my veins,
Runs rivulets upon once fertile lands.
Scars on the ground, matching my own.
The Earth neither forgets,
Nor forgives.
I hear their cries, taste their tears,
Feel
Vengeance in my heart.
I hear the names you call me.
Half breed, Injun, nigger even.
I hear you as I wipe the spit from my face.
I hear you shout I should live among
My own kind.
How I’m not good enough for your house,
Your table, your schools.
I carry the memories of my ancestors
In my blood.
I remember being forced to hear
About your God.
How my Goddess wasn’t appropriate
For me to worship any longer.
How my language was wrong
Choking on your words as you forced
Them down my throat.
How so many still feel that way now.
Yet…..
I remember bringing you to MY house,
My table…my feast.
I remember
How the mighty had fallen not so long ago.
So ill prepared, dying by the dozens
Every day.
How generous were we in sharing
Our food, our knowledge, our healing?
How we clothed you, equipped you,
Trusted you.
Our mistake.
I can feel the lash upon my skin as you
Beat my white name into me.
You could have just asked my father.
Indian lover that he was.
You forgot that part, didn’t you?
That some of you
Loved some of us.
The reason I am half breed
Is your fault
Not mine.
I bear no shame.
No
That is your way of living
I choose not to carry that yoke for you.
I am proud.
I am strong.
I am me. I know who I am
Bastard child
Suckled on the breast of poverty.
Thrown away like trash,
Left to live on your
Empty dreams.
Plucked from obscurity,
Named again.
Power in the naming of three,
Not quite what they expected.
Blood of my ancestors courses through my veins,
Runs rivulets upon once fertile lands.
Scars on the ground, matching my own.
The Earth neither forgets,
Nor forgives.
I hear their cries, taste their tears,
Feel
Vengeance in my heart.
I hear the names you call me.
Half breed, Injun, nigger even.
I hear you as I wipe the spit from my face.
I hear you shout I should live among
My own kind.
How I’m not good enough for your house,
Your table, your schools.
I carry the memories of my ancestors
In my blood.
I remember being forced to hear
About your God.
How my Goddess wasn’t appropriate
For me to worship any longer.
How my language was wrong
Choking on your words as you forced
Them down my throat.
How so many still feel that way now.
Yet…..
I remember bringing you to MY house,
My table…my feast.
I remember
How the mighty had fallen not so long ago.
So ill prepared, dying by the dozens
Every day.
How generous were we in sharing
Our food, our knowledge, our healing?
How we clothed you, equipped you,
Trusted you.
Our mistake.
I can feel the lash upon my skin as you
Beat my white name into me.
You could have just asked my father.
Indian lover that he was.
You forgot that part, didn’t you?
That some of you
Loved some of us.
The reason I am half breed
Is your fault
Not mine.
I bear no shame.
No
That is your way of living
I choose not to carry that yoke for you.
I am proud.
I am strong.
I am me.