Monday, October 17, 2011

Colonial Frames

Through these dark eyes
We watched the turns of time
Men pale as ghosts
Searching the wilderness
Hoping to find themselves
They came at first
In boats strung up with clouds
Stepped on these shores
Barely land-born before
Ice and snow brought death
We nursed them in longhouses
But they breathed death on us
And soon we too fell
Villages became bone-yards
And as their numbers grew
They climbed mountains
Navigated waterways
Crossed plains
In search of furs
Greed lead them
Like wild dogs
And when the animals hid
They sought to take the earth
Our villages were reordered
To make Rupert's Land
And as greed grew
Rupert's Land shrank
Replaced by settlements
And paths of double steel
They drew invisible lines
Gave names
To what they never owned
Cities grew out of stone and steel and soot
Rupert's Land disappeared
Our eyes grew fewer
Viewed the world
Through lenses of suffering
Northwest Territories
And then Nunavut
To mark a new age
Proclaiming it time
Traditions fade away
You try to tell me
Our eyes are all the same
Glance for once
On the stains of history
Speak those words again

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