Justice Song of the Birds
On the red horizon, ships appeared.
The missionaries came and spoke behind their beards:
"We admire the Indian, the pure and simple fawn,
but your soul must find a seat on the final voyage on."
An Indian girl heard and felt the Christian fear.
She tried to fly away but was surrounded by those beards.
The preachers' tongues were cocked,
the righteous muskets roared,
and her naked back felt the mercy of the Lord.
She became a perfect Christian white man's wife.
She loved her children faithfully and led a stainless life.
Then one sunny afternoon she felt her dying come.
She felt her heartbeat stop, and her spirit began to run.
She ran and ran and ran and ran to an open door,
but a voice inside said, "Sorry, there is no either or."
It said, "No no no no no no no, you can't come in--
this is Indian heaven, we don't take no Christians."
She ran and ran and ran and ran to another door,
but a voice inside said, "Sorry, there is no either or.
No no no no no no no, you can't come in--
this is Christian heaven. We don't take no Indians."
She fell and fell and fell and fell to the gates of Hell--
but the devil complained: "Why'd you ring my bell?"
He said, "No no no no no no no, you can't come in--
Hell is just for sinners, and you're guilty of no sins."
The only door left for her was the second birth:
a spiral shadow stairway straight back to the earth.
She didn't come back as a Christian or an Indian, no no no,
but a beautiful feathered bird the color of blood and snow.
Now she soars forever with her children in the clouds,
and if you listen now, you can hear her sing it loud:
"No no no no no no no, you can't come in--
the sky is just for birds. We don't take no humans."