I only met you four years ago.
Before that I didn’t know you existed.
You are the silent wound
that only the stolen children have known about;
the blessed, bright, beautiful children
stolen from
their homes
their family
their culture
their language
their lives.
You are the pain borne by the innocent.
You are the arrogant ignorance
that held another people below its own.
You are the seeker of land,
the assimilator of identity,
the lack of funds that didn’t care.
You are the pain borne
by the children of innocent children.
You are the question left so long unanswered
by the stifled voice.
Now I see you everywhere.
You are in the voices that have lost their languages,
the broken lives lost in our streets
the hearts that see themselves through tainted eyes.
You are those eyes
that say that one person
has less value than another,
less worth,
less voice,
less beauty,
less brains,
less nobility.
I have met you.
You are the streets that take girls still,
that take children from their families still.
You are in the voices that talk
at the bus stop
and in the news
that claim to know them
without you ever having met.
You are in the air.
You are in the drums
that have not lost their song.
You are in the dances
that invite everyone in.
You are my brother,
You are my sister,
You are my friend
whom I hold in my heart,
whose loss I mourn,
whose place has always been beside me.
You are a beauty
I have noticed out of the corner of my eye.
You are the bright, clear voice
that I hear
if only I stop to listen,
that calls for its place back
walking along beside:
equal,
strong,
respected,
wise,
and good.
I have met you.

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