Trail of Tears Diorama, Cherokee Indian Museum
Celia Bland
  Cast from spit-stiffened clay, Jackson’s
  manikin glints as we – Christians and
  slave-owners, stovepipe hat

  wearers – march West.
  Old Hickory hard as a stippled cane.
  We called him Chula Harjo – Sharp Knife – when he helped us stripe
  the Creeks’ corpses
  with our sharp knives, stripping
  thigh skin for bridle reins,

  red ears for gold coins.

  Old Hickory
  when he whipped us, like he did the
  Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw
  to Nu na da ul tsun yi, the Place Where We Cried.
  Stillwater, Oklahoma.
  We few faded into Nantahala

  Forest, eating bark, eluding Chula Harjo

  until our ribs curved into the lustrous knife hasps
  he grasped as he cut his bitter earth.
Celia Bland's new collection, Cherokee Road Kill, will be published by Dr. Cicero’s Books in 2017. Soft Box, her first book, (CavanKerry) won ForeWord magazine’s Silver Medal, and Madonna Comix (William James f8 editions), a word & image collaboration with artist Dianne Kornberg, was published in 2014 and was featured in Drunken Boat and exhibited widely.