Poem: Why the Willow Weeps, by David Stamps

WHY THE WILLOW WEEPS
VALLEY DEEP,
NEATH A MOUNTAINSIDE,
LIVED THE NATIVE AMERICAN CROWFOOT TRIBE,

INDEPENDENT, INTENSE,
CORNFIELDS IMMENSE,
GREAT SPIRIT BLESSED THEM WITH ABUNDANT LIFE,

CROWFOOT SHAMAN HAD A COMELY DAUGHTER,
CREATED IN THE CORN: AND BORN BY THE WATER,
HAIR SO LONG IT COAXED THE WIND TO BLOW,

HER ALMOND EYES: BROUGHT SQUIRRELS TO HER SIDE,
SHE WAS HEIR TO THE MAGIC: AND PRIDE OF THE TRIBE,
KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE LAND AS WILLOW,

THE DAY BLUE EYED PALEFACE,
FELL AT DEATH AND HER TEEPEE’S DOOR,
SQUAS WHISPERED INTO THEIR BRAVE’S EARS AND OUT THROUGH THEIR HATE FILLED EYES,

AND YET WILLOW WAS TAKEN WITH HIM,
AND SO SHE TOOK CARE OF HIM,
AND FOR HER HEALINGS SHE WAS OSTRACIZED,
AS HIS MIND CLEARED HE FELL INTO HER SMILE,
AND AS HIS STRENGTH GREW SHE FELL INTO HIS WILD,
BUT ANGRY BEAR WANTED BLUE-EYED PALEFACE DEAD,

FOR IT WAS HE WHO HAD GROWN UP LOVING WILLOW,
AND THE MATCH MAKER HAD TOLD HIM LONG AGO,
THAT ANGRY BEAR AND WILLOW WOULD BE WED,

SHE NURSED HIM TO FULL HEALTH USING HER MAGIC,
IN HINDSIGHT NOW IT SEEMS SO TRAGIC,
HE GREW TO FULL STRENGTH ON THAT COLD, BLOODY DAY,

THE BUGLE SIGNALLED THE PALE FACE TROOPS CHARGE TO RETRIEVE THEIR FRIEND,
AND THE WAR CRY ANGRY GAVE RALLIED HIS BRAVES TO DEFEND,
THE LAND THAT NATIVE AMERICAN CROW FOOT TRIBE HAD CLAIMED,

WILLOW AND PALE FACE HAD NO TIME TO SPARE,
WILLOW SAID, ” MEET ME AT THE WATER” PALE FACE SAID “I WILL BE THERE’
BUT TELL ME WHERE WILL YOU BE THAT THEY CAN NOT SEE,

SHE SAID, “I HAVE MY MAGIC THAT WILL HELP ME TO HIDE”
I WILL GROW A MYSTICAL TREE AND THEN TAKE REFUGE INSIDE,
AND I WILL NOT MOVE UNTIL YOU COME AND RETRIEVE ME,

WELL PALE FACE WENT TO TRY TO HALT HIS SOLDIER’S ATTACKS,
BUT ANGRY BEAR KILLED HIM WITH A CROWFOOT AX,
BUT BY THAT TIME WILLOW WAS LONG GONE,

SHE HAD FOLLOWED HER ANCESTORS DOWN TO THE WATER,
SHE LOVER, HEALER, CROWFOOT DAUGHTER,
STOOD FIRM BEGINNING HER ANCIENT, MYSTICAL SONG,

FIRST HER FEET TUNNELED DEEP INTO THE GROUND,
THEN HER ARMS TURNED HARD, AND BRITTLE, AND ROUND,
AND HER COARSENED REACHING FOR THE SKY,

THEN HER ALMOND EYES: THEY TURNED INTO A SQUIRREL’S NEST,
AND HER FACE WAS HIDDEN: AND HER SPIRIT WAS AT REST,
WHILE SHE WAITED FOR A LOVE THAT HAD ALREADY DIED,

AS BRAVE SLAUGHTERED PALEFACE,
PALEFACE SHOT SQUAS AND BRAVES,
AND THEY BURIED NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN IN SHALLOW GRAVES,

UNTIL ONLY ANGRY BEAR WAS LEFT UNDER THE ALP,
IN HIS BLOODSTAINED HAND,
BLUE EYED PALEFACE’S SCALP,
HE JOURNEYED DOWN TO DIE BY THE LAKE,
AND HE PRAYED TO GREAT SPIRIT UNDER WILLOW THE TREE,
AND WILLOW ONLY THEN SAW WHAT HAD COME TO BE,
AND THAT WOULD BE THE FIRST TIME THE WILLOW WOULD EVER WEEP,

HER HAIR, NOW BRANCHES, WERE WEAKENED BY THE TEARS,
AND THEY BENT DOWN, ONE BY ONE, OVER HER WOODEN EARS,
SHE WAS JUST DEVASTATED BY WHAT HER LOVE HAD BROUGHT ABOUT,

AND SO SHE PRAYED TO GREAT SPIRIT ‘PLEASE SET MY SOUL FREE’
AND SHE DID RELEASE HER FROM THE TREE,
AND HER SPIRIT WENT TO COMFORT ANGRY BEAR’S SPIRIT AT THAT VERY SPOT,

NOW WILLOW SPIRIT AND ANGRY BEAR SPIRIT,
LIVE AS MARRIED SQUA AND BRAVE,
TENDING ANCIENT TRIBAL BURIAL GROUNDS,
AND PALEFACE GRAVES IN THE VALLEY NEATH THE MOUNTAIN BY THE SEA,

BUT WILLOW’S HEART STILL BELONGS TO PALEFACE SOLDIER BOY,
AND SO HER HEART WILL NEVER KNOW LOVE’S PASSIONATE JOY,
AND THAT, MY FRIEND, IS WHY THE WILLOW WEEPS.

http://www.spokenworld.xyz

Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: