“I Have Never Left”

You don’t know my name,
and you never will.
I am a native of this land,
and I walked these hills long before you knew they existed.

I could tell you where the rivers are, and the path the buffalo traveled.
I could show you many secrets that Mother Earth keeps only from those who refuse to listen.
Yes, I was killed long ago, in a battle you wouldn’t care about, in a place you’ve never heard of.
But I still walk this land, even though my people have been forgotten.
And I am not the only one still here.
There are many of us, just as there were before the white man came.
We are within the forests, and among the grasses.
You do not see us, but we see you.

I have never left my home.
Everyday I watch it, standing upon your lawn, where my camp once stood.
I watch you.

I wait for the day when your meaningless greed and pride will turn against you.
Nature will conquer you instead.
Try if you may to tame Her, but we who respect Her know better.
But you are a hopeless people.
You are blind.
The Earth is not yours to claim, and it never has been.
So I will roam this land, waiting for Her to restore the balance.
When that time comes, maybe the white man will finally realize that he cannot command the world.

[work is original and the sole property of Abigail Krocker. Photo: Sitting Eagle [Edward Curtis, c1905], Library of Congress no. 56.]

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