Throughout my years of unstandardized history classes,
I’ve been taught about Columbus
And John Smith.
I’ve been taught this country was stolen
From the friendly and naïve.
I’ve been taught this country was fought for
From the vicious and savage.
I’ve been taught the truth,
The barest facts,
That there was an expansive people here when settlers arrived,
And we fought,
And we killed,
And we forced them away from their homelands.
Who started the fight is irrelevant;
A fight five-year-olds have to place blame.
The truth is,
No one knows for sure
Who exactly was friendly and who wasn’t.
We have journals,
We have a recording of a fight
Between one tribe and one settlement,
But it’s always out of nowhere,
What we don’t know
Is if people within the tribes
Protested the violence
And the few that attacked were just that—
We don’t know if these few
Controlled the tribe
And that’s why whole tribes attacked.
We don’t know what the colonists did—
Cheat them, sure, push them away—
The Native Americans,
We don’t know their side of the story,
If they’d had enough
Or if one event
Set them off.