When Pigs Fly, a Trail of Tears poem

When Pigs Fly, a Trail of Tears poem

A Poem by Michael R. Burch

When Pigs Fly
by 
Michael R. Burch

On the Trail of Tears,
my Cherokee brothers,
why hang your heads?
Why shame your mothers?
Laugh wildly instead!
We will soon be dead.

When we lie in our graves,
let the white-eyes take
the woodlands we loved
for the hoe and the rake.
It is better to die
than to live out a lie
in so narrow a sty.

In October 1838 the Cherokees began to walk the "Trail of Tears." Most of them made the thousand mile journey west to Oklahoma on foot. An estimated 4,000 people, or a quarter of the tribe, died en route. The soldiers "escorting" the Cherokees at bayonet point refused permission for the dead to be buried, threatening to shoot anyone who disobeyed. So the living were forced to carry the corpses of the dead until camp was made for the night. Years after the Cherokees had been rounded up and driven down the Trail of Tears, John G. Burnett reflected on what he and his fellow soldiers had done, saying, "Schoolchildren of today do not know that we are living on lands that were taken from a helpless race at the bayonet point, to satisfy the white man's greed ... Murder is murder and somebody must answer, somebody must explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian country ... Somebody must explain the four thousand silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to their exile." Keywords/Tags: Cherokee, Native American, Trail of Tears, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, Infanticide, Matricide, Racism, Fascism, White Supremacists, Murder, Horror, Terror, Terrorism, Greed, Gluttony, Avarice, Lust, Rape

© 2020 Michael R. Burch


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Added on February 22, 2020
Last Updated on February 22, 2020
Tags: Cherokee, Native American, Trail of Tears, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, Infanticide, Matricide, Racism, Fascism, White Supremacists, Murder, Horror, Terror, Terrorism, Greed, Gluttony, Avarice, Rape