Longing - Part II
The elder sees the woman|
Feels her longing to fit in
So as he leaves the circle
He asks, “Are you an Indian?”
The question takes her by surprise -
Is he laughing at her plight?
Surely her blond hair and fair skin
Tell the world she’s “white”
But there’s a twinkle in his eye
And acceptance in his voice
She knows he will hear her story
And it makes her heart rejoice
“I had a dark skin great grandma
But her daughter was ashamed
So my mother hid her heritage
And I know not from where she came
I have searched for many years
All to no avail
I fear that I will never know
My great grandmother’s tale
So, no, I’m not an Indian
Though my ancestors were, I’ve heard
I just like to watch you folks...
I suppose that sounds absurd.”
The Grandfather cocked his head
And gave a knowing glance.
“Ohhh...you only came to watch?
I thought you might like to dance.”
“Oh no!” the woman laughed,
“I’m white as you can see.
My place is here on the outside
I’m not a ‘wannabe’”
And though she laughed as she spoke
A tear rolled down her face
She turned her head so he wouldn’t see
And laugh at her disgrace
But reaching out a finger
He lifted up her chin
Then looking deep into her eyes
The Grandfather did begin
He smiled with compassion
Said, “Is that what you’ve been told?
Ah, these young pups nowadays
Know not the ways of old.
We were not a People
Who cared about the color of one’s skin
Anyone who came to learn
Was welcome and “fit in”
It was the conquerors who taught us
To divide and separate
How strange our children should adopt
The habits of those they claim to hate!
If you really want to learn, my child
If you are ready to begin
Then come join us in the dance
And BE an Indian.”
And so she joined the Circle
And felt her heart beat strong
At long last she had come home
To the place where she belongs
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