river smokymtns

In Indian Country

The old woman, Rebecca and her husband Asa
moved to California at the beginning of the war.
Grandma soon followed, and my mother and her sisters,
sick of Depression, seeking work in the war factories,
seeking white warriors for husbands.

Elisi, the old Grandmother Rebecca, remembered the stories
from her own elisi, whose white name, too, was Rebecca.
Rebecca the younger had become the last in a long line
of Cherokee women to recall Lagsi and Uk’tena
and Thunder’s Boys, who rolled around in the Sky Vault
on warm summer afternoons.

Her children did not know Tsalagi,
they would not listen to her talk the old ways,
or perhaps she had forgotten how to tell the stories.
So she left the farm, her Cherokee allotment,
in Craig County, Oklahoma, to go to the Darkening Land,
Wudeliguhi, where Grandmother Sun goes to die.

the older Rebecca, Wakee, who raised her orphaned
     granddaughters,
and fed them on selu and dogwood blossoms,
had ridden in a buckboard full of children and the old anigeya,
from the hills of Georgia, down the trail where they cried.
Four years old, she remembered her brother Richard,
while driving the oxen, had a vision.
“they will push us to the sea,” he said “this trail will not end
    in Indian country.”

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Gilles Carter

    Hi Patricia and Duane,

    I am in the process of finishing a short (20 minute) non-profit educational film for high-school students on Indian (Cherokee) removal (funded by Oklahoma and Arkansas Humanities Councils and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation).

    I saw your family relationship to Rebecca Neugin…

    We use Rebecca Neugin in voiceover- & I am trying to fact-check the family pronunciation of the last name. Could you tell me whether it’s a soft “G” or a hard G & whether there’s any emphasis as in “NEW- gin” ? or New-G-in? At the moment we’ve got the “gin” part as in “to begin.”

    Much appreciated,

    Sincerely,

    Gilles Carter (917) 612-4334
    New Haven, CT

Comments are closed.

Recommended Posts

Our August Newsletter

Dear friends, The time has come for another monthly newsletter. It’s been both a sad and a busy time for us. Duane’s nephew, Joe Poncy, passed away recently at a much-too-young age, and we attended a memorial service for him in Walla Walla on the 17th. He was a sweet and earnest young man and Read more

Duane Poncy

Our July Newsletter

The lazy days of Summer are upon us, and sometime you just want to let them roll over you. In keeping with that thought, this is a very brief newsletter. We will be back next month with some mini book reviews and news from the home front. In the meantime, we would love to hear Read more

Duane Poncy

Summer is on its way

June Newsletter | Duane Poncy & Patricia J McLean Summer is about to arrive and we are excited about several new releases coming out over the next few months. August 2nd is the release date for Skyrmion, and Duane is stoked about the great review from Publisher Weekly’s BookLife, which is their Indie Author division. Read more

Duane Poncy

Memory and Dream: May Newsletter

Books to Read and Other News: Our second newsletter goes out on Mayday, which is not only International Workers’ Day, but our 24th anniversary, as well! We have for you some micro-reviews of books we’ve recently read and recommend. We also have some news about a coming book release for Duane’s new novel, Skyrmion: Book Read more

Duane Poncy

X

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and get book announcements, ARC opportunities, and other news about the authors.