Friday, November 28, 2014

"Lost, But Now Found"

I can't imagine what it felt like
The pressures you were under
The discrimination you faced
The fear of losing everything

How could you leave your people?
It must have been a hard choice
There was much that you loved
And you had to let it all go

There were many troubles there
It seemed better to move away
Maybe you could start over
Maybe you could have a new life

I know you loved your homeland
I know you had so many memories
I know it hurt leaving relatives
I know it hurt saying goodbye

I know it couldn't have been easy
Leaving, and then starting anew
I know you clung to your family
I know you ached in secret

I know you had to be strong
Be strong for them
Be strong to survive
Be strong just to go on

You learned to adapt
To new places
To new ways
To a new culture

I know you looked at the sky
I know you watched the storm clouds
I know your longing was stirred
For home... for home

I know it was still there within you
Your land
Your people
It was still home

I know you tried to forget
You tried not to think of it
You tried not to admit it
But it ate you up inside

And I know you suffered
Because even in your new life
They wouldn't accept you
Not if they knew who you were

You had to change yourself
You had to act like them
You had to be like them
You had to hide who you were

I know you looked at your family
Your children and your wife
And for their sakes, you decided
For their sakes it was all worth it

You had to kill your heart
You had to silence its cries
You had to suck up your tears
They were depending on you

Maybe some who did the same
Maybe they were ashamed
Of where they came from
Ashamed of who they were

But not you, I know it
You would have stayed
If you could have
If you could have

The fear of losing it all
Your new family and home
No, you had to protect them
You had to provide for them

You would be strong
You would be an American alone
You would be white
An Indian no more

For their sakes you lived
For their sakes you died inside
Or you thought you died inside
But you didn't, Grandfather

You didn't.

Your heart stayed alive
It lived in your children
Just an echo
But they knew

The echo grew louder
Your grandchildren told stories
Their grandchildren stirred
Their grandchildren wondered

Your heart lived on in them
Your heart lives on in me
And I am awake now, Grandfather
I am awake now

I've cried the tears you choked back
I've felt the sorrow you felt
I've heard the cries you kept inside
I've let out what you couldn't

I am the silent prayer you made
Deep within your heart
The fleeting wish to go back
The quiet hope of returning someday

I have honored your tears and sacrifice
In me our family has returned
I will go back on your trail
We will reconnect with our people

Your people did not forget you
They prayed for you and your children
They prayed for the seventh generation
And here I am in answer

You have found peace, Grandfather
Peace because you are with Creator
And you are with your relatives
You are watching us now, smiling

You can see how Creator
Is working out His plan
You can see how Creator
Is bringing restoration

I envy the things you can see now
But I will see them one day, too
And I will see you, my grandfather
And you and I will dance

With our people.

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