by Lystra Bisschop
His story is one man’s perspective.
His story drums so hard our tympanic membranes burst,
And we cannot hear the truth.
The truth depends on–not the one who wields the sword–
But the holder of the pen.
The pen changes everything.
Observations become facts.
A single viewpoint is accepted as written truth.
Truth, but doesn’t that set you free?
Freedom depends on who’s holding the truth,
That tiny seed of truth planted by your ally,
Will grow into the tallest, strongest tree,
That no wind of change will break.
If an enemy plants that seed, a weed grows unnaturally,
Searching for sunlight and shade, never finding a balance,
Always hungry for the truth,
Because something is missing,
And the garden calls you a weed,
When unwanted weeds are tossed away,
Native land reforms.
We see beauty, we drink in truth, our truth,
We were never a primitive people.
Yes, our clothing, methods and tools,
May’ve seemed simple,
But it took science,
Skill and so much more to live the way we did.
Survive, they called it.
We didn’t and don’t, we flourish.
Our wealth and values are different.
We flourish in relationships, in connection to our countries,
And spiritual well-being.
When I look around here and think of my old people,
I know: We are clothed with dignity and strength.
We always were.
Except now, we can shake off the dusty skin.
The thick dust from those old history texts.
We stand next to our young ones,
And hold up our mirrors of truth.
Wait for them to grow and shed off old skin,
Old habits and grow again.
Time speeds up, faster and faster.
It’s a crocodile, locking its jaws around its victims,
And death-rolling with speed,
Drowning who we are and were. Until …
His story, yes, his story becomes history.
And now we wield a brush or voice or pen,
And as time passes,
Our truths become concrete.
Our works are our stories.
Our stories are being created and dust will pile high,
Like middens on faraway dunes.
We remember we have always been and always will be,
Clothed with dignity and strength.