My Mother’s History By John (Jake) Cosmos Aller

My Mother’s History
John (Jake) Cosmos Aller



One day many a year ago
My mother spoke to me
About her family’s tangled history

She spoke to me
Of lies, half-truths, and myths
Some of which may have been true
And over the course of the evening
Her history came alive

She was born in hills of North Little Rock
The 10th of 11 children
Of an ancient dying race

The Cherokees who had ran away
The lost tribe of the Cherokees
Homeless since the trail of tears

Refugees who fled in the hills

Rather than join the rest
In the promised land
Of Oklahoma

Her people disappeared
From history’s eyes

They did not exist
I did not exist

My history was over
As was hers

And so, I learned at last
The painful truth

That due to the crimes of politicians
So long ago

My mother’s people
Lost their land, their culture and their hope
And became downtrodden forgotten people

Hillbillies they were called
Living in the hills and mountain dales
Clinging to the dim fading memories

Of their once glorious past
As proud Cherokees

Now no one knew their name
The old ways were forgotten
And the new world never forgave them

And they never forgave the new world
As they lived on
In the margins of society

Forgotten people

And I vowed that if I lived
Their history would not die
As I knew the truth

And I would become a proud
And make my mother proud of me
And my accomplishments

And so, when I am down and out
I recall her stories and her warnings
And realize it is up to me

To live my life
To let the Cherokee in me
Live his life

And in so doing
My mother’s history does not die

It lives on in me
Until the day I die

Long live the Cherokee nation
Long live my mother

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