Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Clans

When the waters were so mighty
     As to reach the mountains high,
And it seemed that all creation
     Surely then was doomed to die,
Came the turtle to our rescue,
     Brought us safely unto land,
For the Manitou had sent him;
     Now we’re called “The Turtle Clan.”

The Wolf band comes from children,
     Whom a she-wolf nursed with care,
And thus restored the children
     Who were giv’n up in despair.
Her wailing brought the hunters
     To the babies where they lay;
So a band among the people
     Is the Wolf Clan of to-day.

When the tribe was once in danger,
     A wild turkey gave alarm,
And the warriors met the foeman
     With the fury of a storm,
To a maiden, in a vision,
     Did the turkey show the plan,
And we call all her descendants
     To this day, the “Turkey Clan.”

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Richard Calmit Adams

Richard Calmit Adams was born in Kansas in 1864. For over twenty years, he legally represented members of the Delaware Tribe in Washington, D.C.

Date Published: 2017-09-27

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/clans