Vision At Little Bighorn - Poem by Smoky Hoss
I went to Little Bighorn
On a hot summer day,1987,
I wondered if the Seventh Cavalry
Was in hell or heaven -
Out there all alone
I came upon the old General's ghost wandering around,
He kept glancing far away
While staying close to the ground -
I'll never know for certain
If he saw me or not,
He just kept wringing his hands
As if he couldn't stop -
Upon the path where he paced
Blood dripped from his boots,
It soaked in deep and wide
Down to the prairie grass roots -
From way down in this hallowed ground
I heard the dead soldiers cries,
The agony of the lost
Who so long ago on this spot died -
No one else was there under the burning sun
This mysterious scene to see,
I observed it all
Alone, on the desolate, dry prairie -
I felt as if a visitor
Watching from another time,
Perhaps the heat had got to me
Or I'd simply lost my mind -
But I could not walk away,
I wanted to ask him 'Why? '...
Yet no words could I say -
I just stayed there
Hour upon hour,
Watching, listening... feeling it all...
As if in the grip of a strange power -
I swear I saw Sitting Bull
Riding swiftly toward me on a spotted horse,
I was knocked flat to the ground
By the passing force -
I looked up high
Into the blazing sun,
There I saw Warriors in victory dancing
Realizing full well their fight was done -
Still, I couldn't help to wonder
What of Custer? What was his fate?
Was he too far gone?
Was it, for him, way too late?
Suddenly I was brought back,
when out of nowhere an old medicine man appeared.
Looking into me, as if reading my thoughts, he said,
' Do not worry about Custer, he'll never speak another word.
Because out here all alone the General shall remain, forever dead. ' -
'As for the rest of us
We all must come to understand,
The time to live and work together
Is now at hand. '
Then he reached down and helped me up;
Together we walked the long path back;
Side by side, into the sunset,
We followed the same track. -
Poet's Notes about The Poem
With no one else around;
It was the strangest feeling,
Mingled with the strangest sounds.
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