The Fall of 1862
My brother's great-grandfather David Price
lifted the quilt and discovered the body
of James Edwards, his neighbor.
Eighteen-year-old Thomas J. Davis shot by Indians
on Harbo Hill - powerful John S. Jones (prairie-Horeb)
scalped, his body by a pitchfork
with bent and reddened tines -
All in the fall of 1862, all within sections
of where I sit -
If descendants of these victims are still bitter,
should they be condemned?
Five hundred whites, older men, women, children,
babies, fetuses, destroyed in ignoble war-
Little Crow could not control his young soldiers.
On the other hand, one thousand starving Dakota,
food locked in warehouses -
Indians forced to reserves, victims of travesty-treaties,
Traverse des Sioux and Mendota -
Relatives of the 38, descendants of women and children
on their trail of tears to Ft. Snelling -
if still bitter, should they be condemned?
Reconciliation? Between whites and Indians?
(As time goes on, it becomes easier.)
Within the Indian soul? - often torn between
troubled past and prospects of lost culture,
lost language, lost identity-
Please consider the context.
We - our European ancestors - drove first nations
brutally - from their homelands forever,
from Columbus' West Indies forays to Wounded Knee.
Some tribes we drove to annihilation.
Let us all atone together.
Walter O. Jones
Coed Marion Farm