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The True Story of Juana Maria

While doing a Google search I somehow (and unexpectedly) stumbled on a Wikipedia section about a woman who was the last surviving member of her Indian tribe living on an island off the California coast back in the 1800’s. She lived there alone for years, and was blind. Her end came when she fell off a cliff. A sad, sad story which immediately gripped me. It was as if she needed me to tell her story, and so I have. In a sense a “true” fantasy poem. Hope you like it.
©2014 by Jon Gutmacher
On island so far
so far, far away
the last of her kind
was there
to stay

To live out her life
of lonely years
to sleep all alone
except for her tears

Juana Maria
Who now knows your name?
the last of the Nicoleno
in life’s twisted game

As tribes from the past
some never survived
yet, others did live
while others have died

She lived on an island
off the California coast
and then became blind
then finally
a ghost

And wanders the island
where she lived alone
where managed to survive
only she
could call “home”

And now just an entry
on Wikipedia be
that’s all that is left
for anyone to see

And I think of her sorrow
I think of grief
alone so so long
was death . . .
a release?

Now back with her family
and back with her friends
in someplace not earthly
where time never

I wonder
I wonder
how anyone could be
alone for a lifetime
. . . not able to

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