A Simple Blanket

With wrinkled hands she wove me,
Yellow of sun, blue of sky, red of heart,
A blanket of security
For granddaughter,
A blanket of ceremony
For husband,
A blanket of warmth
For herself.
Then the white man came to Mississippi,
And the Choctaw days grew colder,
And I did little for security, for ceremony, for warmth
Against the chill of the white men
Their icy hearts felt no pity,
Their frozen eyes that had no life,
Like animals, they clawed
At Choctaw land, homes, and hopes.
Granddaughter, husband, and she
Walked to unfamiliar lands,
No Mississippi sun, no Peril River water,
And the white man needed no blanket,
Covering themselves with paper
Of broken treaties.
Broken hearts, broken lives
And granddaughter, husband, and she
And returned to the Red Earth,
All three
Covered by me.

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