I Am Alone

by B.F.O’Connor

They came to this place weak and tired
And fought to become, proud and free
living among these desert mountains
They raised their few into a great people
Covering the land like the clouds above
And came to be called by the name Apache

Great men rose to lead them to prosper
And they fought and defended
Their cherished desert home
None could resist their cunning and power
And fear was a companion to their enemy

Long did they live in natures embrace
Hunting to take their needs from the land
Until there came a people from the south
With knives as long as a grown mans leg
With shirts of iron and sticks of thunder
Wandering through the valley lands below

In waves came strangers who promised friendship
making homes in the valleys near the rivers’ edge
some tasted the wrath of Apache vengeance
for misdeeds and transgressions a fair price paid
a balance maintained — culture for culture

Their words were spoken true and honest
But deceit was all they heard in their ears
Promises taken as words of honor
Became nothing more than dust in the wind
Driving them back into their mountains
Making them enemies who’d tried to be friends

Then came the children of the great father
From a place far away called Washington
In floods they crossed the desert valleys
With soldiers who built great strong houses
All throughout their Apache home

They fought to protect their peoples and homeland
They suffered the losses of wars revenge
Killing many soldiers they struggled for freedom
More soldiers came to replace the dead
But their warriors fell also in battle
And nowhere were there replacement for them

Weakened once more they hid in their mountains
Flying from range to range to be safe
Agreeing to peace on their own reservation
They promised with honor to end their revenge
And settle alone in a Chokonen land

The few who were left offered their freedom
when they heard the words of the great father
Promises made to the great chief Chez
But words of the father were like dust in the wind
And sorrow was all that the white man offered
Imprisonment within a land that was dead

Author’s Note: Inspired by the great speech of Cochise (Chez)at the time of his surrender. The history of the Apache people is often clouded in the histories of the victors of those wars. Truth has never been a notable aspect of the white mans government. It seems little has changed over the years.

Copyright © 2022 B.F.O’Connor