Not Just One of those Tales of Another Dead Indian

Amanda, the woman whose ghost holds Yachats

Amanda Trail To Reopen | Oregon Coast Daily News

bloody feet dampen soil
her DNA cleaved to earth, forced blind trek
called “a march” yet she sees through
darkness, earth torn for steel
guns, rusty crosses, parchment
proof of broken treaties
tears bleeding into wind
signatures of unholy
men worth the indigo
nothing more, promises, lies

before US Military kidnapping, white mountain
man grabbed her
fornicated, child from uncommon
law, but mother thrives
until march of tears
from beachhead south
into basalt canyons
toes bound by scars
stumbling, old blind woman
disappeared, or bones to dust

reality: Amanda De-Cuys was a blind Native American woman of the Coos tribe
who traversed coastal trail 158 years ago, but not by choice.
she fled to Coos Bay, but designated runaway
she was tagged like elk, as US army men
carried-out forced march
seventy-five miles north
daughter left behind with common
law gringo, 12 of them
prodded by uniformed glory
now a land of colonization
a continent crying slow death

in 2022 mostly gray heads
gather at the grotto
rededication of new
bridge, Amanda’s Trail
statue of blind Indian
these people hold court
listen to speakers
the mulch of Oregon
forest like fungi on tongues

Yachats, hippie town
tears of Umpqua, Coos, Siletz, Alsi
forever there, a mist
a new rainbow each time
a new visitor hikes hoping
Amanda’s song is caught
in kingfisher or murre or guillemot
transmigration of natives’


*More on the trail and Amanda.


Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.