All posts by Andréana Lefton

Andréana Lefton is a poet, traveler, freelance writer, and teaching artist. She has lived in the US, UK, Europe, and Middle East. She works extensively with minority and indigenous communities, sharing poetry and the inner work of social justice. She is currently working with Turn the Page, a Chattanooga-based non-profit, teaching creative writing in jails and safe houses. Andréana’s writing has been published by the United Nations,  The London School of Economics, Sojourners, Sufi Journal, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, and On Being.

Healing the Trails of Tears – by Andréana Lefton

JOURNEY OF TEARS

That whole morning and night before were one long prayer for assistance. I woke at four, and sat in the living room of my friends’ river-side house, speaking aloud to the darkness, undamming the river, flooding inside.

Then I got ready, and drove to Red Clay State Park.

For years, my feet have taken me to Red Clay State Park, near Cleveland, Tennessee. This land was once the last seat of Cherokee government, and also the place where, in 1838, the Cherokee people learned that the Treaty had again been broken, their remaining land would be taken, and they would be forcibly “removed” to Oklahoma and parts unknown. Thousands and thousands of people died.

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