This time they stepped a little slower,
Their lack of caution overgrown,
Their old eyes saw things differently,
But had no decision but to roam.
Once they lived beside the cactus plant,
The thorn bush, and the rose;
A wilderness like Eden,
Where true peace had no repose.
Some days were filled with trivial things,
Some nights they would call Nanapesa from afar,
Seek Hushtahli when He shone in the sky,
Call lost souls and falling stars.
Some thought that they were already dead;
Other’s wished that it was true,
But on the Trail of Tears –
Where some of their spirits today still rest –
They are remembered by the few.
©John Anthony Fingleton (2017) (Löst Viking)
Image ‘Trail of Tears’
Notes: At the height of Ireland’s Great Famine (The Irish Genocide). The Choctaws Nation in southern states of the USA sent a donation of $170 (about $ 7000 today).
A sculpture’ Kindred Spirits’ stands in a park in the small town of Midleton, in County Cork. It was officially unveiled and dedicated in June 2017 by Chief Gary Batton, Chief of the Choctaw Nation,
The Choctaw Trail of Tears was the attempted ethnic cleansing and relocation of the Choctaw Nation from their country referred to now as the Deep South (Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana) to lands west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory in the 1830s by the United States government. Nearly 15,000 Choctaws made the move to what would be called Indian Territory and then later Oklahoma. The population transfer occurred in three migrations during the 1831–33 period including the devastating winter blizzard of 1830–31 and the cholera epidemic of 1832. About 2,500 died along the way. Approximately 5,000–6,000 Choctaws remained in Mississippi in 1831 after the initial removal efforts. For the next ten years they were objects of increasing legal conflict, harassment, and intimidation. The Choctaws describe their situation in 1849, “we have had our habitations torn down and burned, our fences destroyed, cattle turned into our fields and we ourselves have been scourged, manacled, fettered and otherwise personally abused, until by such treatment some of our best men have died’’. It should also be pointed out that many Irishmen served in the US Army at this time and took part in these operations.