Wounded Knees

he deserved better

though no one ever said so

his lot by choices made and birth decreed

in another age he might have been a hero

living to a code that he believed

he deserved better

although he rarely argued

accepting that in life we pay a price

so he just got on with doing what he had to

a slave to circumstance

he played it nice

except for once or twice

when folks harangued him

bedevilled him to choose a different path

castigated choices, rules he lived by

then another side was seen

and no one laughed   

courageous then to ethics and behaviours

a knight of old who’d sworn to do his best

an explorer extraordinaire

a real man

tackling each and every challenge

daily tests

he deserved better

one or two of us knew that that was true

and we cheered silently on the sidelines

urging his success in what he felt he had to do

 

she deserves better

I saw her on the street just yesterday

her coat hung heavy on her shoulders

her face resigned to to all she had to pay

she might have travelled once in covered wagons

tilled at soil cemented on some plot

sewed seeds of future, harvested, lamented

a stoic that the caravan forgot

 

they deserve better

perhaps we all do

cast in roles

few choices

birth decreed

unsung heroes

terrain and times denying

that courage stands

on work-worn wounded knees

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