Trail of Tears

Amira Balala

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I woke this morning,

to the sound of women


to hoofbeats of fleeing ponies

and the sound of cries louder than

the war drums of which the

drummers played a panicked frenzy.


Two hours after

our pride and power is no more

                                                  we Cherokees have fled our homes

Women, men, and children alike watering the path with

bitter tears,

abhorrence growing in our bosoms

as the pallid ones withered us with derision.


I look around and see

the weak drop to the ground

pestilence is king and fatigue its queen


My pony reared,

and I lay there, not wanting to go on,

not wanting to live,

not caring about family, love, life,

nothing could make me go on with this,

this search for nonexistent Hope,

I am but a powerless squaw of a dead man

on a pony,

fleeing home with the sound of guns in my ears

and a bit of lead in my heart

but not in my soul

  I looked at fate

right in the


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Trail of Tears