I was recently asked to read a fellow writers book of poetry and then offer comments to be used as blurbs on her book cover. I just completed it and am overwhelmed how powerful poetry is and how we can tell a story with so few words.
Her work stirs up deep emotion in me and a protectiveness over the child she was. You see, she was a victim of the 60’s scoop. Taken from her young mother’s arms right after birth and raised by people who didn’t necessarily have her best interests at heart, she made her way through the world–never quite fitting in. She lost her culture. Her language. Her Family.
The reason I share Carol GoldenEagle’s poem with you here is because it’s a reminder to all about how powerful words are–both positive and negative. Her words will resonate with the child within you.
Reading a poem and letting the words wash over you can be healing. Writing a poem of your own can help too, as you reach deep within and find your truth.
I know… I know….Poety is yucky…we had to do it in school and it sucked…. But, it’s different now. I not sharing a limerick or ditty, I sharing a story written as a poem. Just try it for your ol’ Auntie.
Words and the sharing of stories with our children and those around us is powerful and keeps the stories alive. Carol was taken from her young mother in the hospital shortly after being born. Her biological mother died in a car accident before Carol ever had the opportunity to meet her.
Read the poem. Let me know what you think. Here, Carol is using her words to thank her adoptive dad. Enjoy.
The following is the first poem of Carol’s that I ever read. I’ll now be a lifetime reader. It made me weep (be warned). This is an homage to her adopted dad. Thank you for letting me share it.
Racist uncle knocks at the screen door
it is made of old wood that used to be part of a barn
torn down years ago after being damaged by wicked winds
seemingly ever present on the plains
Hey what’s up? Just put on a pot
come on in
the discussion with his older brother
amicable for a bit
gas prices are up
sure could use some rain already
did you know you can make soup from rhubarb?
But small talk comes to an abrupt end when racist uncle feels entitled
to foolishly venture towards the unspoken
Not still thinking about adopting that schwartze I hope?
Don’t call her that
No, I’m serious you are only asking for trouble.
I am warning you drop it
Be reasonable, I know she is like a pet to you but really.
She is my daughter you arse
She’s an Indian.
That doesn’t matter
What the hell? There is no need for you to take her in like this. For Christ sake even her own mother got rid of her.
I am warning you. Stop talking. Apologize for that. This is my daughter you are saying these things about
I’m not apologizing for anything. Shit! What’s wrong with you? Defending a goddam little Indian for Christ sakes?
this exchange lasts less than one minute
but stays with me a lifetime
and in my young life
I never saw anyone so upset they were shaking
both of them for differing reasons
Okay that is it. If you cannot say anything nice then get the hell out of my house and don’t come back until you can apologize!
With a slam of fists atop a round formica table
cold coffee splashing to mark the spot
mark the day
racist uncle wears a look of shock
and slowly turns to walk out the old wooden door
he never visits our house again
It is the first of many times I remember
Daddy stepping in
deflecting a hit
sheltering me from the harm and the hatred
I never got a chance to say
for carrying me on your shoulders
for lifting me out of those battles
the raging war where I never enlisted
but found myself living
I also thank Creator for showing me
love is colour blind
so was Daddy
ever my hero
never remaining silent
in times of need
I miss him
Rest in peace
I will tell good stories about you
What we need to remember is that everyone has their own story. It may not be evident at first, or at all. Everyone, regardless of who they are, should be allowed to share their truth. I hope you enjoyed Carol GoldenEagle’s poem and it helps you understand a time hidden in recent history that many still fail to see. The words shared in a poem can resonate with many and give voice to those who feel they don’t have one.