The Trail of Tears left a deep mark on the Cherokee nation, a mark that still ripples through the descendants of that culture. It should also leave an indelible mark on the current conscience. Come, Wewoka: Poems on the Trail of Tears is a collection of heartfelt reflections on Cherokee culture during those days and after. Diary of Medicine Flower - Cherokee Aphorisms is prose-poetry reflecting Cherokee views on modern life. Together, these two works provide a sense of the vibrancy of Cherokee culture that is far from faded, but in well worth the sampling.
excerpt from Come, Wewoka
Old Man Tokorei
They gave old man Tokorei
A blanket and a bottle.
The bottle made him warmer than the blanket,
But they also robbed him of his woman.
She would make him warmer still.
To Carlisle, they sent his children,
To make him colder when they came to know him not.
But now, this desert sun in Arizona
Burns his skin warmest yet.
Thank the hawk he still has the warm bottle.
excerpt from Diary of Medicine Flower
Fair is the maiden I pursue on the knoll. Just ahead of me she stays, knowing I watch, but keeping her distant. I stop and gaze, tilting my head to catch the breeze, my crow feather shown best when blown apart. I feel her smile, although I only see her back. I know she has etched me in her heart. I take a step backwards. She one forward, and I know that tomorrow on this knoll we will be within touching distance, although we will not touch.
Edward C. Patterson