Outta Here!

Native Americans flee from the allegorical rep...

Image via Wikipedia

Outta Here!

Choctaw, Cherokee,
Chickasaw, Creek
Tears left along the trail
like breadcrumbs, like blood,
but never leading home again.
Outta here!

Westward ho!
This land is our land.
God planned it so,
His gift to us.
This land is our land,
no longer yours.
Outta here!

Land grabs today,
high noon.
First come, first served.
Outta here!

Pearl Harbor changed it all.
No fun for you,
at these camps.
Japanese Americans
Outta here!

This land was your land
but now it’s ours.
Outta here!
Eminent Domain
back to bite you in the butt.

A darker page in the history of the United States–there have been times when, through government intervention, land has been seized from those who had settled or purchased it. In the 1800’s, the tragic event known as Trail of Tears snatched large areas of land in the Southeast of the country. Five tribes were forced to relocate to areas in the midwest, primarily in Oklahoma. Thousands of Native Americans died during the relocation process. During the same era, the westward expansion forced Native tribes from their land under the doctrine termed Manifest Destiny, the belief that it was God’s intention that the western territories should belong European American settlers. In addition, land belonging to American Indians was opened for grabs (known as homesteading).

During World War II, Japanese Americans and immigrants were forced from their homes and relocated to Internment Camps scattered throughout the West. This was in response to fear that Japan was planning to attack the West Coast.

And now, today, homeowners in our country are subject to Eminent Domain. This means that if their property is deemed useful to the greater good, they may be forced to sell it to the government. While they are afforded financial compensation for their loss, they cannot contest the land seizure.

I wrote this in response to the prompt at Poetry Potluck, to write about history. Stop by for a history lesson at http://jinglepoetry.com

The image (Public Domain) is an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny

17 thoughts on “Outta Here!

  1. Sharmishtha says:

    what a disgusting way of treating original owners of a country. human beings!


  2. That was powerful. Not many have the guts to look at truth in the eye or introspect into our respective pasts when we take the moral highground. Here in India , there is unrest in many parts because tribal land and forest land where people have lived for many , many generations are being acquired by the Government In so called “public interest” and leased off to corporates for mining etc, unsettling their lives and breeding discontent. A new bill has come up for consideration to streamline and prevent misuse. But those with vested interests always mange to find loopholes in the system. A sad stry of human greed that gets repeated again and again and again throughout history.


  3. dragonkatet says:

    I liked this very much, Victoria! It’s good to remind people about even the dark parts of our history as a nation (perhaps *especially* about the dark parts of our history). I recently watched a moving documentary about the life of one of those who was put into the Japanese interment camps. It’s called “The cats of Mirikitani” and if you ever have a chance to see it, I highly recommend it. 🙂 http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The_Cats_of_Mirikitani/70061507?trkid=2361637


  4. Seabell says:

    Land is a very important component of people’s history. Curious that today I read that the first president of Mozambique, who led the freedom fighters to victory, decided to fight the colonial rule mainly because the authorities had, at some point, relocated his family. Even nowadays, land represents the place where the ancestors are buried, a sacred ground…


  5. Lyn says:

    Arrogance has lead us to this point..no lessons for those who won’t look…powerful!


  6. Kim Nelson says:

    Do we ever learn? I see similar attitudes even today. You took out all the unnecessary and left a powerful piece. Well done.


  7. Jess P says:

    A wonderful picture for those words. Good history lesson.


  8. Good write about a bad subject. You are correct regarding eminent domain. Government for the people, or of them?


  9. Bodhirose says:

    I still can’t get over all the ways we have abused others under the guise of what God wanted–or the government.

    Very meaningful write on this sad state of affairs.


  10. marit says:

    I agree that this is quite a sad part of history. thanks for sharing


  11. Chimnese says:

    this was a great poem, you have teached me sumtin about the American history.


  12. Ms. Peaches says:

    Victoria what a wonderful piece of history you’ve shared with us through your words and your history lesson…I love raw truths–reality sets us free!


  13. it was an indeed a great history lesson Victoria! Thanks for sharing!


  14. The style and content of the poem was a great way to jerk us into consciousness of the errors and sins of the past. Outta here – so arrogant and commanding. I admire your ability to get under the dkin of a subject.

    Who on earth dreamed up the euphemistic title of Eminent Domain to put a gloss on an unjust , even criminal policy? At least in UK they call a spade a spade: “compulsory purchase order” does what it says on the tin.


  15. Jaan Pehchaan says:

    History lessons in poetry! Well done! It is sad though that people have been subjected to hardships, for no fault of theirs.


  16. Morning says:

    apt perspective on some sad facts, you rock.
    happy potluck.



  17. booguloo says:

    The poem and history are sad. Thanks for sharing this information.


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