Memories by Gil Hoy

I am not a silent poet

Their homes, cone-shaped wooden
poles covered with buffalo hides.
Set up to break down quickly
to move to a safer place.

She sits inside of one of them,
adorning her dresses, her family’s
shirts, with beads and quills.
Watches over her children, skins
cuts and cooks the buffalo meat, pounds
clothes clean with smooth wet river rocks.

When she sees the blue cavalry coming,
she starts to run again.
Is that what made America great,
back then?

African families working hard
on hot cotton farms. Sunrise to sunset,
six days a week. Monotony broken only
by their daily beatings, by their singing
of sad soulful songs. Like factories in fields,
dependent solely upon the demands
of cotton and cloth.

You could buy a man for a song, back then.
Is that what made America great,
once again?

There are swastikas in our schools today,
gay pride flags being burned. Whitelash.

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