Published May 1st, 2023
by Carl Eugene Moore (Still Water)
(Columbia, South Carolina, United States)
My mother's mother always told me
We were Indians.
Not Native Americans,
Or even American Indians;
We had not heard about
Indigenous Peoples yet.
The kind that stole horses
The kind that painted their faces
The kind that drank firewater
The kind that shot goose feather fletched arrows
Into white trespassers crossing the plains in Conestoga Wagons
Loaded with their possessions, heading West,
The kind that tore down telegraph lines and
Burned out settlers.
The kind that tortured and killed cavalrymen
Careless or unlucky
Enough to be captured.
The kind that killed men looking for the soft, yellow metal.
The kind I saw on a 13" black and white television
In my room, watching Westerns after school in the 70s
Where all the Indian parts were played
By actors with last names like
Hudson, Brandon, Lancaster, Chandler, and Goldstein.
Carl Eugene Moore (Still Water) is a South Carolina writer and educator. He holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. He is a member of the Beaver Creek Indian Tribe out of Yamasee Land (Salley, South Carolina).
This poem is included in Poetry World #6, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
Previously published in First Nations Poetry Magazine:
by Monica Wood
First Nations Poetry Magazine is part of the Wax Poetry and Art Network.
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