~ Indian Spirit ~

I stand proud before you now
straight, with no head hung bow
for all the world to know and see ....
I know my heart to be Cherokee.

Parents would shame
and forbid the Cherokee name,
denying their own Cherokee birth
on this Great Spirit's earth.

As I went to school each day,
we all looked the same way.
For who among us can define
what is carried in spirit or bloodline?

How to judge what creature
by one's facial feature ...
the cut of the chin or color of skin
what spirit or kin lies within?

All across this great American land
flows Indian spirit from tribe and band!
The spirit and blood flows rich in me ...
the same Indian spirit in you might be ...

Why fight and shame each other
when the spirit and blood call you brother?
Lift your eyes up to the clouds,
stand your Indian spirits proud!

Ancestors from old
with hearts shamed and cold
within our time are long since dead,
so claim your blood's spirit and move ahead.

Across all this great and glorious nation ...
let's enjoy the Great Spirit's creation.
Indian spirits live strong in woman and man,
so together let's stand proud in this great land.

Barbara LaBarbera
2003 used with permission


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