When They Did Not Break Us

Originally posted 7/29/2013; originally titled “When He Broke Us.”

when they first came 
they called us
both resource and nuisance
land and labor bank
in the way
ultimately good for nothing

said it was high time to break us

they set to it
our mystery belonging broke
our fluency in stone’s tongue broke
our river dreaming broke
our river beds opened
and drained themselves down
to now mute bones

we ended almost
when we couldn’t speak to each other

our children were taken from us
they returned much later looking more like Him
and had no tongue to use with us

who were we then without them?

we searched
scrapped and fought
found our old words
or made new ones
mined old life from new seams

now they’ve begun to crack
shame lines crazing faces

tried to wear our clothes
they fell off
tried to steal our names
we called them back to us

we put them back on
somewhat the worse for wear
but unbroken

when we spoke those names out loud
for the first time in a long time
in long songs full of drum and tears
the stones cried welcome back
and welcome home
and welcome once again

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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