Ohio & N. Kentucky Indian Issues
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Dekanogi Ulogilv Williams
so my grandmother told it, so I, tell it to you :)
Tue May 31, 2011 1:54pm

Rambles of Yesterday!

"Once", she said, sitting there by the fire
face lit and glowing softly, care worn and lovely.

When our People gathered, it was with great joy
seeing one another, sometimes only once a year.

"The first few days", she said laughing slightly
were filled, with much noise, and confusion.

Speaking quickly, trying to catch up all the news
hurrying around, finding room for each family for sleeping.

Cooking so many different things, feeding all who were hungry
the smells, made ones mouth water with wanting.

Oh, a few quarrels maybe, old grudges being settled
but mostly happy, smiling, touching gently new babies.

In a couple days, it would be time for dancing
singing, telling ancient stories to the young ones.

Good times those were, bringing out the best Regalia
honoring our ancestors, remembering why, we do these things.

Trading, oh, my, the trading was maybe the best thing
my own heart would swell with love, just watching her face change.

"Child", she would whisper, the loves that were found then
and she would giggle, yes, my own as well, your grandfather.

Such a handsome warrior he was, striding proudly, all the women sighing
and I still swear, I could see her as she was in that long ago, swooning girl.

How I loved those stories, listening as she explained
that the "powwows" of today, had little to do with "Gather".

She, would not go, nor grandfather, to these fancy prancings'
as she called them, this "showing off" for outsiders.

How could these others, understand what the dancers were saying
the stories they were enacting, the great battles, hunts, or celebrations?

Only once did she go, coming home with her face burning
shamed by the way the outsiders, mocked, and aped what they thought they saw.

Never one to be unkind, she stayed silent
it hurt her deeply to see, and hear what they were doing, and saying.

Shaking her head, she, peered through the flames at me
they thought they were showing us "honor", by joining the dancers?

Touching the Drums, and drummers, and I, could feel the outrage
though she tried not to show it, tried to be understanding toward them.

For her, the Gather, was the voice of her ancestors
a connection to forever, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

A time to teach, remind, respect, and honor all that came before
and those who would come after, reaching out to family, connecting.

And those "outsiders" who "found" the spirit, claiming to see their "guides"
giving them the "right", to our ways of life, for those she had nothing.

The loud, bossy ways, they decided they knew "her", ancestral ways better
because she cast her eyes down when meeting, thought her, rude, unfriendly.

In truth, she was honoring their right to privacy, and they, knew no better
"yes", she would say, once, the Gathers were such fun.

"Important, girl", she would say, times we needed
to remember that our Peoples, had a long history.

You listen, young one, at our next Gather, you are old enough
it is time for you to learn, but, there will also be time for laughter.

I, never forgot her words, not one lesson she taught me
will ever be words wasted, left to dry, and die, un-watered.

Grandmother, who walked in honor, my heart carries your smile
memories, as alive today as then, so long ago, when I, first heard!


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