Writings from Dead Writers, Andrew J. Blackbird, #1

from Andrew J. Blackbird/ Chief Mack-a-de-pe-nessey’s Complete Both Early and Late History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, a Grammar of Their Language, Personal and Family History of Author, 1887:

tin within tin
opened to expose
a moldy rag

maybe eyes widen
with curiosity     thinking
what strange humor

maybe heads shake
in awareness     recognizing
deceit

maybe hands bury
the metal miniature coffins
where no child plays

this is how
strategists reap death
distantly

intent on annihilation
to spare combat and
diplomatic negotiations

procuring death
with trade
in flattened musket balls

this is how
the white man strikes
suckling mouths and old tongues

II. Postscripts

unnamed English
traded the tin box
but titled tails do arise

and death follows each namesake
across the continent
of tribes

summer of 1763
the Ottawa chief Obwandiyag
anglicized Pontiac
rebels

Lord Jeffrey Amherst
writes letters to military inferiors
in significant postscripts

conveying genocidal intent
venom reserved for
Savage Indian Nations

     most Effectual Stop
to their very Being

through gifts of infected blankets

     Total Extirpation

an accomplishment expressed by
Commander William Trent
from Fort Pittsburgh

     the desired effect

as Obwandiyag
holds him under siege

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