Robert Charles Howard

Rookie - 346 Points (26 DEC 1943 / Wyandotte MI)

Terror In Her Eyes - Poem by Robert Charles Howard

Strolling up the Knife River trail
a dusty cloud swirled and fell
revealing earth lodges by the score
extending down to the shore.

Hidatsa women sang as they toiled,
      shucking corn -
            beading moccasins,
                   cleaning a buffalo hide.

Returning hunters
released their ropes
dropping two deer and an elk
to the earth by the hanging rack.

Triumphal shouts from down the bank
turned all heads to the shore
where a warrior band,
fresh from Shoshone fields,
tied up canoes and dragged
their captives up the rise.

A curious crowd circled at once
A quartet of squaws caught
and carried off two of the boys.

A Shoshone girl with terror struck eyes
cringed as a warrior raised his arm.
'No, tell me your Hidatsa name! '
Sobbing she succumbed through broken tears,
'My name is Sacagawea.'

I struggled to breach the walls of time
to meet death in her defense
but a new whirling cloud intervened.

As the dust fell away
all the lodges had vanished.
I knelt down to gently caress
a circular hollow
etched in the Dakota grass.

August 6, 2010

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 9, 2010

Poem Edited: Monday, August 9, 2010


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