Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud


Sheila Williams: Betrayal!

IWVPA Club Recognition of Outstanding Non-War Related Writing: January 20, 2008
Awarded: January 20, 2008
They came in darkness to the village, killing the warriors set as look outs, so few of the men were there, on a hunting party to feed their People for the coming winter.

Women and children were the targets, there were fortunes to be made in the slave markets, the adult males were no good to them, too great was the fear of the buyers.

Only the youngest that had beauty drew their attention, all the rest were left dead or dying, a little fun with the maidens, just extra money if they were pregnant.

Ten winters was Yellow Flower, a true beauty beyond compare, held down on the frozen ground, as the laughing men took turns destroying her mind.

Tied together with hempen ropes; barefoot and bleeding they were dragged along, from Georgia to Mississippi they were taken for selling.

They moved fast with guards behind, knowing the mourning warriors would be maddened, crying babies slowed them down, were quieted forever by callous men.

There was no rest night or day, if they stumbled they wore stripes, the women tried so hard to protect the youngest, helping those the men had crippled.

Tired and filthy they arrived, dragged through the laughing crowds that gathered round, little ones with tear streaked faces, stood silent now with sullen faces.

Straight ahead the women stared, blank faces never showing their despair, stripped naked and placed on blocks, touched by any who wished to buy.

Yellow Flower deep in shock, never moved or cried when she was bought, slapped from the block to the ground, drug by her hair to his wagon.

Tied to the back with laughing glee, told to keep up or drag behind, kicked, pinched, and poked, he whispered to her wait till we get home, you are mine.

Child born of love and gentle parents, treated as a gift so precious, taught by Elders wise and caring, in a village where respect of persons was her first lesson.

How suddenly the world had changed: without warning destruction came, brought by those once called friends, traders that were welcomed to the fires.

Such sweet words these men had spoken; such wondrous things they brought for trading, so many gifts brought to the Elders, they shared the pipe of friendship.

Only child of Arrow Maker, Yellow Flower was a happy child, willing worker, and spoken well of by the women; the sunshine in her mother’s world.

Taken to the trapper’s cabin, beaten, raped, starved, worked, soon she knew a child was coming, and her will to live on that day died.

With the morning sun came the birth: in ripping pain, blood, and hurt, one look she took of her tiny son and then ten year old Yellow Flower made her escape.

Into the long walk she wished herself, to the ancestors who would understand, her last breath sent to Creator, help my son to free his People!