The People’s Story

Posted: February 17, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , , ,

Today Pegman took us to Palisade Rim/Ute Petroglyph Trail, Colorado in order to inspire a 150-word story. I’ve visited this area many times and am always fascinated by the petroglyphs, stories told by ancient hands or just a, “Hey! I was here.”

The People lived on this land for one-thousand years
before your people came,
offering greed and war
and turning our landscape into peaks of tattered garbage,
our lakes to pools of poison,
and our rivers into flowing yellow acid.

We hunted bear, fox, antelope, bison,
took only what was needed
and gave back ten-fold,
leaving the land unaltered
while moving place to place.
We thanked Mother Earth for her bounty.
Offered prayers and gratitude when she provided peace.

You? You brought disease, war, and tears beyond all imagining.
Soldiers killed our women and babies; butchered our men.
And when that failed to annihilate us
your men slaughtered our bison,
leaving piles of bones strewn across the grasslands.

Now you are welcome to this earth
for you have ruined the surface
and what lies beneath.
We will bide our time
until your God comes to ask,
“What have you done?”

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

Comments
  1. James says:

    Not a happy tale to be sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is what comes from someone who graduated in cultural anthropology, and did archaeology for ten years. Although Native Americans had their own wars, took slaves and weren’t so nice to one another all the time, at least they were kind to the earth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James says:

        That’s the flip side to history, Alicia. I once wrote a time travel/alternate history story about what would have happened if the Europeans had been prevented in getting to the new world (I had a time anomaly transport prehistoric sea monsters into the North and South Atlantic) and in the 21st century, had three major indigionous nations peacefully ruling “America.” You are however correct in that back in the day, they waged wars, took slaves, and did a whole bunch of other “human” things to each other.

        Like

  2. k rawson says:

    Not only have you seen this place, you’ve heard it. Wonderfully done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pennygadd51 says:

    This is a good poem, and a great polemic. That last line is an absolute killer! Lovely writing, Alicia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Penny. I suppose it is a poem. I never mean to start out with this format, for I’m not a poet, but somehow points seem to come out more emphatic if I structure my short writings this way. Thanks for teaching me a new word ~ polemic. Always glad when you stop by. Alicia

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All too true and tragic story. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. draliman says:

    Very powerful. I love the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your passion for the earth shine through, Lish. I love the scope of this piece and the voice which is balanced beautifully between haunting and haunted.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynn Love says:

    Heartfelt and tragic. a cry from a destroyed people to their destroyers. Well written Lish

    Liked by 1 person

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