Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Poem: July 26, 2015

July 26, 2015

For a long time we were afraid, and we hid.

There was a time before we hid, when we were warriors and leaders, but we don't remember it well.
We remember the hiding. The long, long time of hiding.

Every once in a while one of us would get tired of hiding and stop.
They would hang him.
Or one of us would get tired of hiding and sing!
They would burn her.

Often the ones who stopped hiding were the best of us, the smartest and most talented. That's when they got the most angry.
One time one of us stopped hiding. They made him pick up and set down heavy things till his body stopped working.
Another time one of us stopped hiding.
They pumped his body with poison until he wanted it to stop working.
There are many stories like this.

Then, several of us decided to stop hiding and they said that that would be OK, as long as we went over there and didn't leave or ask for anything.

Over there wasn't great, but it was better than hiding so we made over there better. We painted things bright colors and sang bright songs and planted bright flowers.

Later they would see our colors and hear our songs and smell our flowers and they would want to take them for themselves because we made over there a good place, but that would take a long time and mostly over there was only better than hiding - still not good.

Sometimes those of us in hiding would learn about over there and yearn, and sometimes those of us over there would think about hiding and miss. Sometimes one of us would leave hiding and join us over there and we should have been nice to them but we weren't always because we were sad a lot.

Then some of us got tired of being over there. We wanted to ask for things, we wanted to go places, we wanted to take our paintings and songs and flowers and bring them places other than over there and some of us thought that was good but a lot of us said no, we didn't want to make them angry.

Then one of us threw a doughnut.
They beat her.
Then one of us threw a coffee cup.
They beat her.
Then one of us threw a shoe.
They beat her.
They beat a lot of us. They threw one of us out a window.

Some of us said stop! We're making them angry! It will get worse! But we didn't stop.

We threw bright parties. We marched bright marches - and things did get worse but they mostly got better.

One of us said that we should all work together and get the power to stop them from beating us.
They shot him.

We got really angry. We marched brighter marches and threw brighter parties, we painted brighter paintings and sang brighter songs and planted brighter flowers.

Some of us got sick.
Some of us got really sick.
Some of our bodies stopped working.

We didn't know what to do so we all got together and marched many very bright marches, we threw many very bright parties, we painted very bright paintings and sang very bright songs and planted very bright flowers.
So many of us! We looked around. We had never seen so many of us before, not over there, not hiding.

They said we got sick because of our brightness. They said we should go back over there and be quite again and not ask for things, they said we should hide again.
But now we knew better.
They tried to make us go back over there, but now that wasn't allowed.
They remembered that we used to hide and tried to make us do that again but now that wasn't allowed.
The said that they loved us and tried to damp our bright colors; they said they didn't hate us and tried to mute our bright songs; they said we were hurting them and tried to kill our bright flowers.

So we marched the brightest march yet, two by two we marched and now that is not allowed.

Some of us are still sick.
Some of us still have bodies that do not work well.
Some of us are still not kind when we should be.
Some of us are still sad a lot.
Some of us still have not discovered their bright colors.
Some of us still have to throw things.
Some of us are still afraid.

We are not done yet, but we will not go back.