Lament of An Arawak Child (2000)
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Once I played with the hummingbirds
and sang songs to the sea
I told my secrets to the waves
and they told theirs to me.
Now there are no more hummingbirds
the sea’s songs are all sad
for strange men came and took this land
and plundered all we had.
They made my people into slaves
they worked us to the bone
they battered us and tortured us
and laughed to hear us groan.
Today we’ll take a long canoe
and set sail on the sea
we’ll steer our journey by the stars
and find a new country.
Poem © Pamela Mordecai. Reproduced with the permission of the poet.