When He Broke Us

Originally posted 7/28/2013.

When He nearly broke us
on a knee and a treaty
our mystery belonging broke

Our knowledge of stone’s tongue broke

Our river dreaming broke

The river bed opened
and drained itself down
to bones

When He nearly broke us
on a promise and a prayer

we ended  — almost
Couldn’t speak to each other
After war came famine and
our children were taken
They returned much later looking more
like Him
Had no tongue to use with us
Who were we then
without them 

but when He cracked us

He did not finish it

We found glue among little stones
We found our old words there
We saw old life in new seams

When He cracked us

we saw his self capitalization at last
for what it was
and gently took it from his hands

When he cracked us
he cracked himself

He tried to wear our clothes
They fell from him

He tried to steal our names
We called them back to us

His children learned to see him
as unnaturally starved
despite leaning toward obese

They say they feel bad about when he broke us
Little breakers feeling sad in fancy hats
they don’t see as stolen property

They keep banging at us and calling it a tribute
Their hammers ring just as loud 
as when their fathers first cracked us
as when we first stood up to it
as when we first became unbreakable

and the singers
and the dancers
and the drums
our drums
drown their hammering 
in the renewed flood 
of our river dreaming

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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