|International Day of Remembrance 3/25/2015|
Thrice oppressed—black women slaves—iron spines
held nerves of steel for endless resistance
masked for survival—there is the wonder.
I would not have survived, I know. It is
not among my privileges to be
that strong and here is where my awe begins.
Despite the hundreds of victims not yet
adequately honored, descendants give
and give to the society whose laws
Stripped them of humanity and ever
since manufactured obstacles to health,
liberty and pursuit of happiness.
While such environmental museums as
colonial Williamsburg debate showing
the truth, interpreters want to show it.
Why else look at the colonial times, if
not to finally face the evil facts
of white supremacy and ignorance?
In this strength is where my awe continues
and I look for ways to assist—to promote—
not restoration but transformation.
No justice lies in rebuilding what does
not foster equality. No statue
can heal wounds or establish dignity.
Nor does reversal of fortune offer
more than saturnalian playground to we
who are hungry for new relationships.
Thrice blessed, I want to say, both oppressed and
oppressors freed from power systems that stop
our natural empowerment and love.
Written for my prompt
Copyright © 2015 S.L.Chast