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This Land
by Fred Bassett

What boy could hear the story
of Jackson's slaughter
of the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend
without compassion
for those defending their native land?
What boy could camp
in that bend of the Tallapoosa River
without hearing
the woeful cries of those dying children?

I had long carried a corporate guilt
for our land-grabbing
wars against Native Americans,
but I had failed
to grasp the true sense of their loss
until I read Ceremony,
Leslie Silko's story of Tayo, a Laguna Pueblo
and disillusioned veteran
who fought for the U. S. in World War II.

God, what a transformational read.


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