Celebration of tears: a poem

We were running among the trees before they first came
Swimming in the water before their first fleet,
Dancing in red soils with heat beating down on our backs before they first came

Tied a noose around our necks, they did
Stole from us, poisoned, they did
Then they decided we were not human

We were hunting game among the bushlands before they came
Swimming, on foot, the wind at out feet
Dancing on the waves, drums beating like heart rhythms, thought us insane

Killed us for greed, they did
Took our children from us, they did
Fed us hate, preaching a God of love

Now we hold on to yesterday’s pain, we are lame
Broken by the ills of another man’s heart
The wounds fester, we are crippled, unable to succeed in their world

Raped our women, they did
Took even burial grounds, they did
Broke our backs and hearts, they did

Now they expect that I rejoice
On the day of their fleets landing, unaware
Of the strings of bitterness, they just don’t care, why should I?

Finally admitted us human, they did
Admitting their wrongs, they did
Said sorry and tried to make amends, they have

But is it really amends if they refuse to acknowledge our lands
Still celebrate that which breaks our hearts?
Can unity exist where wounds still exist, razors cutting?

Maybe in me choosing to forgive, healing can start
For me, my children, the next generation,
Telling them the stories of our past like old.

Teach them forgiveness, I will
Teach them to never be oppressors, I have
Taught them the power of hope.


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