burned out

there was a time

my ancestors say to me

late in the day

when the moon is low

the wind is sleeping

the sand ceases to move

of a time

when shut up

was never heard

we would bang our drums

sing until morning

or the singing was done

in this way our hands

reached back all the way

to those gone before

& then came

the time of shut up

we were not to talk

sing of these things

that connected us

to those who no longer

walk the day

& like the fire

before you now

growing colder

this is how they

burned us out

ended our culture

Newe

nothing brings my feet to return

knowing nobody in the land I was born into

my ancestors are long dead

buried burned scattered I know not where

the few people who say they know me

have not spoken heart to heart

sat to listen in a thousand moons

the last time we sat they spoke

of the many things they had said done

& when I tried to say I too have soared

they could only see me in terms as a child

of who I had been in the way back when

fear holds their feet to the ground tight

limits their thoughts ways of being

& to think of me as a forsaken child

hurts them because they did nothing

felt they could not get in the way

yet see no hand of theirs in my making

while I felt the lack of theirs every day

I grew strong without them their ways

& of all that scares them that is the most

a spirited child who found their own way

who in the end learned not to need them