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WALT MAKOWSKI
Winnipeg, Manitoba
About Walt Makowski 

 

 

 

"I Will Fight No More, Forever"
                      Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

A  mound of earth sits on a hill
A gnarled tree, its fingers still
The leaning headstone grey and pale
Stands alone to end a tale.

On Colville's reservation site
Chief Joseph's body lies despite
His facing west against his home
A final insult to his bones

A gravesite strewn with littered parts
Of gifts and scrawls of well-worn art
Died at 60, now forgot
A barren gravesite is his lot.

When soldiers came to move his band
To reservations from their land
His strength and honor came to fore
The story part of history lore.

His three month, thousand mile retreat
With elders, women, young to feed
Led him north with skill so great
That many blue coats met their fate.

But Bear's Paw battle raged unchecked
And Joseph's weakest could not trek
Leaving them to save a few
Was not a thought he would pursue.

"I will fight no more forever"
Body broken, spirit...never
Let us return where we belong
So we may sing our final song.

Surrender now his only way
He saved his people on that day
But broken promises by whites
Exiled them to stop their flight.

Exiles, Oklahoma bound
Faced the reaper all around
Many sinless starved to death
Diseases claimed their final breath.

The Nez Perce chief who fought to see
His people proud and fully free
Had all his visions torn apart
And left him with a broken heart.

His wish to live where he was raised
Was never granted by the States
He died within the Colville zone
And to this day has not moved home.

A  mound of earth sits on a hill
A gnarled tree, its fingers still
The leaning headstone grey and pale
Stands alone to end a tale.

2004, Walt Makowski 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



About Walt Makowski:

I am a former peace officer from central Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and currently work on a part-time basis at a local horse ranch as well as volunteer my time as a porter with the vintage locomotive society which runs all summer conveying tourists on a three hour round trip excursion.

 

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