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Cree Maiden

Story ID:6908
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:Retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 2B2 Canada
Year:2011
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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Cree Maiden

Not a scenic sight in
1967
when tourists
shouted eagerly as if it
was normal entertainment
to see a native lady
fighting the law
in Moosonee Ontario

holding up the
Polar Bear Express
brochures named the train
but going nowhere
this very moment
her hands tight around
railway steel

a muscled grip keeping two
OPP constables
sweating through tunics
while grappling with
firm fingers

train anxious with its horn
crowd in no hurry to depart
and I could hear
her huffing with each
push against her
shoulders and arms
burly uniforms unable to
unclench fingers
locked in an ancient battle.

I quietly cheered her
stubbornness
and raised my hand
in support of her success
delaying the train
and preventing these people
from returning to worlds
beyond her village
of canvas tents
and woe-begotten dreams.

I trembled in her defiance
of the White Manís influence
and I too mouthed words
she was able to shout:
This is my land.
This is my land.

© Richard L. Provencher
Website: www.wsprog.com/rp/
Blog: Provencher Paths