The Neverending Trail

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We whites honor the “Hermitage”

And the man who once lived there –

But, that leader of our Nation

Was cruel, unjust, unfair –

He ordered the removal
Of the Cherokee from their land
And forced them on a trek
That the Devil must have planned –

One thousand miles of misery –
Of pain and suffering –
Because greed of the white man
Could not even wait till spring –

We should bow our heads in shame
Even unto this day
About “The Trail Of Tears”
And those who died along the way.

It was October, eighteen thirty-eight
When seven thousand troops in blue
Began the story of the “Trail”
Which, so sadly, is so true –

Jackson ordered General Scott
To route the Indian from their home –
The “Center Of The World” they loved –
The only one they’d known –

The Braves working in the fields
Arrested, placed in a stockade –
Women and children dragged from home
In the bluecoats shameful raid –

Some were prodded with bayonets
When, they were deemed to move too slow
To where the Sky was their blanket
And the cold Earth, their pillow –

In one home a Babe had died
Sometime in the night before –
And women mourning, planning burial
Were cruelly herded out the door –

In another, a frail Mother –
Papoose on back and two in tow
Was told she must leave her home
Was told that she must go –

She uttered a quiet prayer –
Told the old family dog good-bye –
Then, her broken heart gave out
And she sank slowly down to die –

Chief Junaluska witnessed this –
Tears streaming down his face –
Said if he could have known this
It would have never taken place –

For, at the battle of Horse Shoe
With five hundred Warriors, his best –
Helped Andrew Jackson win that battle
And lay thirty-three Braves to rest –

And the Chief drove his tomahawk
Through a Creek Warrior’s head
Who was about to kill Jackson –
But whose life was saved, instead –

Chief John Ross knew this story
And once sent Junaluska to plead –
Thinking Jackson would listen to
This Chief who did that deed –

But, Jackson was cold, indifferent
To the one he owed his life to
Said, “The Cherokee’s fate is sealed –
There’s nothing, I can do.”

Washington, D.C. had decreed
They must be moved Westward –
And all their pleas and protests
To this day still go unheard.

On November, the seventeenth
Old Man Winter reared his head –
And freezing cold, sleet and snow
Littered that trail with the dead

On one night, at least twenty-two
Were released from their torment
To join that Great Spirit in the Sky
Where all good souls are sent –

Many humane, heroic stories
Were written ‘long the way –
A monument, for one of them –
Still stands until this day –

It seems one noble woman
It was Chief Ross’ wife –
Gave her blanket to a sick child
And in so doing, gave her life –

She is buried in an unmarked grave –
Dug shallow near the “Trail” –
Just one more tragic ending
In this tragic, shameful tale –

Mother Nature showed no mercy
Till they reached the end of the line
When that fateful journey ended
On March twenty-sixth, eighteen thirty-nine.

Each mile of this infamous “Trail”
Marks the graves of four who died –
Four thousand poor souls in all
Marks the shame we try to hide –

You still can hear them crying
Along “The Trail Of Tears
If you listen with your heart
And not with just your ears.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


The Neverending Trail was written by Del “Abe” Jones and appears in his book, “The World, War, Freedom, and More.” Used with permission. To purchase the book (US $9.95), or to give the author your comments, please contact him at: [email protected].

Abe Jones is a patriot in the truest sense of the word. Born in Indio, California, in 1941 he served his country in the United States Air Force from 1958 until 1961. When the fighting in Viet Nam worsened during the mid-60’s, Jones tried to re-enlist but was rejected because he was father to four children.

After a disasterous 3 story fall in 1974 while working on a building, Abe now works on a computer, doing CAD HVAC design work. He has three books of poetry published, and donated the profits from “The World, War, Freedom, and More” to the Guardsmen who fought in Desert Storm. He has had additional poems published in newspapers in both Orlando, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee. He was asked to recite “The Wall,” a poem he wrote about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., during the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Jones has just recently moved to Nashville, with hopes of becoming a songwriter.