Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Unknown

You are invited to join the "Invitation to Poetry" found at Abbey of the Arts here. This week’s photo is of a gravestone in the cemetery where Chief Sealth’s (who Seattle is named after) grave is found on the Suquamish reservation. There were several of these unknown graves and Christine has invited us to enter into our poetic imagination and give one of them (or several) a story. Here is mine:


Papoose strapped upon her back,
she strains against the weight.
In her heart she longs to dance
and break free toward the plains.
She cooks and works and serves her Chief
while dreams brew thoughts of life.
Now stooped and bent around the fire,
she stirs a soup of strife.

She’s been the squaw, the mother dear,
and now it seems so clear,
the stamp that’s lain across her heart
rings loudly in her ears.
She’s breathed it in and breathed it out.
It’s screamed within her mind.

Her heart, it breaks, the end is near.
She feels the loss, her own.
No one saw her in this life and
she has been alone.
She hears the word and knows it’s true
Her fate is all too clear.
From now until eternity,
she will be
UNKNOWN.

3 comments:

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Indian woman - yep, although in my mind I had her as a girl, yearning for the masculine gender that would take her to wild horses, to the bison hunts, even to war, if necessary. A young maiden who would emerge as a noble leader.....a little like Whale Rider.

Your poem is beautiful!

xoxox

Tess said...

Beautiful poem Lucy. "No-one saw her in this life...". A terrible fate - that we are not seen for who we really are, once ego and roles have been set aside.

Abbey of the Arts said...

lucy, this is such a moving poem, I could feel the longing of this woman within me, she is of course me and you and countless women who long to be seen. Your poem reminds me how blessed I am that some do indeed see me.

wonderful to have tea yesterday!