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A Simple Tribute to the People of the Plains

They were the first born children of this great and wondrous land.
From the mighty Mississippi to the Rockies they made their final stand.
With all their might the Great Spirits tried, but warriors of the plains died.
So many died still free, with the wind blowing in their stone face;
Felled by lead shot their way from an alien race.
Others quietly and painfully answered the call, victims of the tiniest of all.
After they made their stand they were dead or off their land.
One by one, peace they sought, hatred and mistrust instead were brought.
Great chiefs laid down their arms and retired to reservation farms.
It was off to fences and deserts where once the wind blew so free;
Begging the harsh dry land for something other than misery.
The young ones learned the foreign tongue and the farmer’s ways.
But the warrior’s spirit deep inside their breast smolders still in modern days.
The ghosts of the great chiefs who led their people one last time
Are kept alive for generations to come, immortalized in stone by some.
His outstretched granite arm points to his land, where buried lie the dead.
All the magic couldn’t stop the pain nor put off the long hated reign.
But as their four-legged brothers thrive again once more;
The people of this great land who lived and died and did their best
Are proud once more to be people who have stood the test.

--by Paul Studdard

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