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The Poetry of Robin Poor Bear

For much of her life, Robin Poor Bear (formerly Charboneau) turned to alcohol to find relief from the scars of sexual abuse that she suffered as a child. It was a path that nearly destroyed her. In Kind Hearted Woman, we see Poor Bear exploring a much different form of escape: poetry.

Her writing explores difficult, often painful themes. “What kind of dad could rape and beat his own daughter,” she asks in one poem about her molestation. In a separate verse about addiction, she confides, “I feel so alone, empty, even standing in the crowd.”

Two of her poems – Pieces and Standing Proud and Standing Tall – appear in Kind Hearted WomanThe full text and audio of those works are below, as well as text for three other poems that she shared with FRONTLINE.

Braves and Warriors of our NationHis Story UntoldPieces •
Standing Proud and Standing Tall • Warrior of Mine …

Braves and Warriors of our Nation

Warriors Remembered

This one is for all braves and warriors lost

Taken but Never forgotten paying the ultimate cost

One last drink one last high Simply one too many

Leaving behind broken hearts and believe me there’s plenty

“WHY GOD PLEASE BRING HIM BACK” we cry out loud

I feel so alone, empty, even standing in the crowd

Our pain is real, OUR RESERVATION FEELS IT

How many of us are saying … I wish I could quit

One is too many and a case is too few

Tunkasina sees our warriors lost and says “I am calling for you”

Their bodies gone they are our grandfathers now

Guardian Angels, braves “Blessed ART Thou”

Angels and spirits watching over us asking to take care

Our sacred ones the children and elders are scared

So To honor our lost warriors those who are gone

Place tobacco on the ground and sing them a song

Not beer, whiskey, or other chemicals

emptiness, loneliness only come with those

Ceremony of our traditions heal our hurt and pain

PEACE, LOVE, all that is pure is what we will gain

Acceptance, strength, courage and guidance will come

One warrior danced to heaven hearing “Thy will be done”

Memories live on, We need to grow together

Spirit Lake Nation’s BRAVES and WARRIORS Remembered

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His Story Untold

I was just a kid when my brother got a hold

Brutally raping me saying he’d kill me if I told

Everyone was gone and he’d rip me apart

Treating me like a dog as he made his mark

His force was great as he thrashed me

Everyday I prayed FOR GOD to set me free

I couldn’t escape I had nowhere to run

Mom and dad were drinking, partying for “fun”

I grew angry and older trying to get away

I was a boy no one listened to my plea day after day

Time and time again I felt so … alone

A boy scared to sleep inside his own home

I found a way to out in drugging and drinking

Only to find myself suicidal and sinking

Feeling alone with nowhere to hide

I finally succeeded in suicide

If you can relate to this story untold

Please don’t go down this boy’s road

There is a safe place for you to turn

Other people can help, help you to learn

About Happiness, trust, love a new path to take

As the Creator fulfills you, your Spirit will awake

The road is good and it’s RED in COLOR

IT WILL HELP YOU GET RID OF THE GRIP OF YOUR BROTHER

Pick up the phone and dial 911.

And tell them what your brother has just done.

If it isn’t your brother but somebody else

Dial 911, it’s now time to tell.

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Pieces

As a Little Girl I was ripped and torn into pieces

As he tears off my clothes I began to pray to Jesus

“DON’T DADDY DON’T!!!” I screamed and I begged

He pulls my pants off and holds my KICKING legs.

He let me go for a second and I almost got away

He GRABBED me again, threw me down and Hollered at me to stay

My younger cousin was there, crying and begging him not to do it

“RUN and get SOMEONE” I told him and then I was hit.

Right across my face and my nose began to bleed

“DADDY I am Bleeding” I hoped for sympathy

“SHUT UP OR I’ll MAKE THE OTHER SIDE BLEED TOO”

I was terrified, trembling and a kid what else could I do

“PLEASE GOD PLEASE” I prayed to myself “MAKE HIM STOP, WHEN WILL IT END”

Then he stopped and I started to pretend

Like Nothing happened, “No DADDY I won’t tell”

I see my chance to escape and began to yell

“RUN HE RAPED ME RUN!!” as I ran to their car

MY little cousin was walking on the road he didn’t get far

Torn, shattered I picked up the pieces

“Now what do I do PLEASE TELL ME SWEET JESUS!!”

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Standing Proud and Standing Tall

I stand here in front of you standing proud and standing tall
To remind you of when you knocked me down and watched me fall

The mean and hateful things you’d say helped me to see
Exactly how much you really loved me

As time went on I hoped and I prayed
For health and happiness to come my way

I know he was listening the CREATOR does care
I just need to stay sober, to become more aware

My spirit is Strong and cannot be broken or beat
Cause I am still STANDING RIGHT HERE on MY FEET

At a very young age I was told “this man is your father”
But what kind of dad could rape and beat his own daughter.

My innocence was stolen throughout my childhood
Dirty Disgusting men putting their hands where they could.

I grew up and waited for that one day to come
Where I would remind them of what they had done.

One by one I told them off and I could see fear in their eyes
They too denied it as they covered it with lies.

I faced everyone of them I felt my spirit grow stronger
They can’t control my life or my fears no longer

Now like you they seem smaller not like big men at all
While I am walking away Proud and Tall

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Warrior of Mine …

Do warriors still exist today …

Yes they do when they Kneel and Pray …

Understanding ALL is not lost …

Walking the “Red Road” not what they were taught …

They lived a life of booze, drugs, VIOLENCE, and lust …

Now they are learning in the “Creator to trust” …

They don’t … always believe in “OUR WAYS” …

After all We were “SAVAGES” raped of our PRAISE …

Some Fight Harder, Louder, some still do wrong …

Most are living … walking … looking strong …

Those are our “lost warriors” who suffer today …

And it’s for those whom I ask to KNEEL and PRAY …

It was NEVER their FAULT just something “THEY” taught …

HOPING TO “KILL EVERY INDIAN THEY CAUGHT” …

We will carry OUR TRADITIONS through time …

I am grateful to know a WARRIOR, a Friend of MINE …

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