I woke to witness my people burning on our trees
and choked on their ashes scattering in the breeze.

I watched as they were exiled from our land,
drowning in hate staining an invading hand.

My kin and kind were captured by force
to till the ground and save the master’s horse.

We lived together with no care or desire
till the enemy came with guns and cannon fire.

He proclaimed that my arms and mind were weak
and beat me till my heart and eyes did leak.

I cried for my brother, sister, acquaintance and friend
wishing that by his own means my enemy would meet his end.

A rainbow: Red, Brown, Yellow, White, and Black
flashed before my eyes as the whip cracked on my back.

Married by fate in a cleansing sea of blood
we swept away even more than Noah's flood.

But at the moment when I feared all was lost,
A voice beckoned to my aid and to my oppressor's cost.

He told me to reach again for my fellow man
but this time to help him first if I can:

"You stood and watched as he was battered down.
For that you will on judgement day bear witness to my frown.

"You must seek to give him that which you yourself would have
whether it be freedom, love, or just a joke to laugh.

"I made you all and reign above
and you are equal in my love.

"When one is wronged the other speak
Though solitude is what you seek.

"If your voice and arms rise not against another's foe
then soon the same oppression will be all that you do know."

I heard the words and stood up strong
to speak against all I knew was wrong.

And with the new vision I felt
a gentleness that my heart did melt.

No longer did the ashes fly
No longer did I daily die.