Barefooted In The Snow

if i ran off from the mission once
i ran off a thousand times
but it didnt do me any good
my folks would take me back
the very next day and id get
a whipping besides
i dont think there ever
passed a day that i didnt get
punished for something
i ought to be an authority
on punishment

we had to learn english and wed
never hear it except at school
its a wonder we ever learned
i dont remember any of the
teachers and dont want to
why   i stayed in the first
reader till i was twenty years old
and then just got to the center of it
the first half of the book
was as dirty as could be and
the last half was just like new

i dont like to think about the past
people now dont know what
hard times are
little children went barefooted
in the snow
i dont know why the indians
sent their children to school
unless it was because they would be
better taken care of

Wallace Cook, b. 1880