NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art ~ Poems & Stories

Arko (Comanche)
Who are you?


Ted Wilburn

Who are you, visitor to my sleep?

You arenít my usual kind of dream!

Why are you here? What do you want?

Into this room of near reality I followed you

To ask, but you slipped away from me.

Where did you go? Why are you silent?

Where are you? Where did you go?

Oh, youíre standing by the window.

Your form I see behind a long white drape.

But you I can not plainly see.

Over to where you stand, I walk.

Through the drape I see your form.

On your shoulders I place my hands.

You turn and dash through the window.

Outside you turn again and look at me.

Your face is old, wrinkled, thin, and red.

Your clothes are old and tattered and torn.

They are buckskins and some kind of cloth.

You look like youíve come a very long way.

Your appearance tells me youíve had it bad.

As you leave I ask again, "Who are you?"

"Who?Ö" once more I ask as you look back

From behind a cover of black animal fur.

Saying "Who?" I wake myself up.

With you still on my mind I am now awake.

You seemed so real to my sight and my touch!

You are definitely not my usual kind of dream!

Who are you? I would really like to know.

My thoughts tell me you are the spirit of my

Cherokee ancestors who lived here long ago.

I have so many questions I want to ask you.

Where did you come from? Where have you been?

Why did you come to me? Who are you?

Are you here to remind me to not forget

My Indian forefathers who lived here first?

Have you walked a very long trail?

You nod your head with tears in your eyes!

Oh, mercy! You walked the Trail of Tears!

As you walked did your tears run dry?

From the winter cold did you die?

On your walk were the soldiers brutal?

For you did they provide any food?

Did they feed your young?

Did they let you bury your dead?

Did you die at the end of the trail?

Or did you survive that last long walk?

Who are you?

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