Monday, September 24, 2018

It’s Time for Indigenous Peoples Day (poem)

It’s Time for Indigenous People's Day

First, it’s not true 
that I can only speak in rhyme.
I can’t talk that way on cue, 
and who has the time?
I can only say what I say, 
and for that, I’m not sorry.
Poets only arrange words this way 
when we want to tell a story.

Columbus explored, 
for that he’s rightly known,
But as we’ve learned some more, 
our knowledge has only grown.
In the story we all learned, 
some chapters were left out.
Other people here, they yearned
to be heard, without having to shout.

Columbus changed the world, 
and in our alma maters, 
one thing will never change,
he’ll remain an important man. 
But as history has unfurled, 
the distance has made things clearer.
As we get farther from that 1492 meeting,
We’re seeing a bigger picture.

That’s why we don’t want the lesson shortchanged – 
We want our kids to learn, to truly understand.

We want our kids to read from all the missing chapters.
We want our kids to heare from every voice, completely.
We want our kids to know that books can have many authors.
We want our kids to hear the story of our entire human family.

If that means we change the name, 
from time to time,
of some of our favorite holidays,
then I believe, if I may claim,
we shall be a little better, 
and in the end, 
I believe, we shall even be, ok.

North Andover Mass., September 2018

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