Pocahontas

Powhatan princess, you with the frolicsome

nature, run far, run fast and take Bambi

with you. See the ship on the horizon?

It carries measles, influenza,

whooping cough, diphtheria.

Deep in the hold, there’s bubonic plague,

typhus, cholera and scarlet fever.

Don’t look now, but your death is

arriving in blood and breath.

 

You’ll receive a new name at baptism,

Rebecca they’ll call you, with callous

disregard for your royal pedigree.

And you’ll lie in an unmarked grave in

England’s Gravesend. But you’re only one of

eleven million Indian dead.

Fugazi can tell you all about

smallpox in blankets, how you’ll get yours,

some by fire, some by sword, some by hatchet,

some devoured by hungry dogs.

 

You don’t believe me? Then go ask

Comanche Chief Toch-a-way.

General Sheridan set him straight.

The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.

Notes: 

Poetic Asides Prompt: Day Six

Write an ekphrastic poem. According to John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary, ekphrastic poetry is "Poetry that imitates, describes, critiques, dramatizes, reflects upon, or otherwise responds to a work of nonliterary art, especially the visual." My visual choice: Pocahontas, by Annie Leibovitz. http://www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-content/images/disneybiel.jpg