February 26, 2004

The Neverending Trail


KEYWORDS: trail of tears poem native american poetry Cherokee Trail of Tears cherokee trail of tears how many died on the trail of tears who ordered the trail of tears march

AUTHOR: Abe “Del” Jones

We whites honor the “Hermitage”

And the man who once lived there –

But, that leader of our Nation

Was cruel, unjust, unfair –

He ordered the removal

Of the Cherokee from their land

And forced them on a trek

That the Devil must have planned –
One thousand miles of misery –

Of pain and suffering –

Because greed of the white man

Could not even wait till spring –

We should bow our heads in shame

Even unto this day

About “The Trail Of Tears”

And those who died along the way.

It was October, eighteen thirty-eight

When seven thousand troops in blue

Began the story of the “Trail”

Which, so sadly, is so true –

Jackson ordered General Scott

To rout the Indian from their home –

The “Center Of The World” they loved –

The only one they’d known –

The Braves working in the fields

Arrested, placed in a stockade –

Women and children dragged from home

In the bluecoats shameful raid –

Some were prodded with bayonets

When, they were deemed to move too slow

To where the Sky was their blanket

And the cold Earth, their pillow –

In one home a Babe had died

Sometime in the night before –

And women mourning, planning burial

Were cruelly herded out the door –

In another, a frail Mother –

Papoose on back and two in tow

Was told she must leave her home

Was told that she must go –

She uttered a quiet prayer –

Told the old family dog good-bye –

Then, her broken heart gave out

And she sank slowly down to die –

Chief Junaluska witnessed this –

Tears streaming down his face –

Said if he could have known this

It would have never taken place –

For, at the battle of Horse Shoe

With five hundred Warriors, his best –

Helped Andrew Jackson win that battle

And lay thirty-three Braves to rest –

And the Chief drove his tomahawk

Through a Creek Warrior’s head

Who was about to kill Jackson –

But whose life was saved, instead –

Chief John Ross knew this story

And once sent Junaluska to plead –

Thinking Jackson would listen to

This Chief who did that deed –

But, Jackson was cold, indifferent

To the one he owed his life to

Said, “The Cherokee’s fate is sealed –

There’s nothing, I can do.”

Washington, D.C. had decreed

They must be moved Westward –

And all their pleas and protests

To this day still go unheard.

On November, the seventeenth

Old Man Winter reared his head –

And freezing cold, sleet and snow

Littered that trail with the dead

On one night, at least twenty-two

Were released from their torment

To join that Great Spirit in the Sky

Where all good souls are sent –

Many humane, heroic stories

Were written ‘long the way –

A monument, for one of them –

Still stands until this day –

It seems one noble woman

It was Chief Ross’ wife –

Gave her blanket to a sick child

And in so doing, gave her life –

She is buried in an unmarked grave –

Dug shallow near the “Trail” –

Just one more tragic ending

In this tragic, shameful tale –

Mother Nature showed no mercy

Till they reached the end of the line

When that fateful journey ended

On March twenty-sixth, eighteen thirty-nine.

Each mile of this infamous “Trail”

Marks the graves of four who died –

Four thousand poor souls in all

Marks the shame we try to hide –

You still can hear them crying

Along “The Trail Of Tears

If you listen with your heart

And not with just your ears.


The Neverending Trail was written by Del “Abe” Jones and appears in his book, “The World, War, Freedom, and More.” Used with permission. To purchase the book (US $9.95), or to give the author your comments, please contact him at: abeabe@worldnet.att.net.

Abe Jones is a patriot in the truest sense of the word. Born in Indio, California, in 1941 he served his country in the United States Air Force from 1958 until 1961. When the fighting in Viet Nam worsened during the mid-60’s, Jones tried to re-enlist but was rejected because he was father to four children.

>After a disasterous 3 story fall in 1974 while working on a building, Abe now works on a computer, doing CAD HVAC design work. He has three books of poetry published, and donated the profits from “The World, War, Freedom, and More” to the Guardsmen who fought in Desert Storm. He has had additional poems published in newspapers in both Orlando, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee. He was asked to recite “The Wall,” a poem he wrote about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., during the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial in Orlando, Florida.

Mr. Jones has just recently moved to Nashville, with hopes of becoming a songwriter.
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