by Mwatabu S. Okantah

they still teach school children
Columbus discovered America even though there
was no America
to be discovered then--he was lost.
Arawak people discovered him.
they no longer exist.

labeled savage. renamed "Indian."
called "Native" American
hidden in plain sight
yet out of view on reservations
left to ponder settler nation Thanksgiving Days.

native peoples reduced
to exotic sounding names--
Tecumseh. Cuyahoga. Lakota.
safely carved into noble
wood and stone.
rendered harmless tomahawk chop
Chief Wahoo Red Sambo
grinning "Indians."
Mascots to soothe the real savage

    for my children

From Muntu Kuntu Energy: New and Selected Poetry

Discovery by Mwatabu S. Okantah

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