Poem written to address past wrongs...
Please don’t blame me
If my words are not your words;
My ways are not your ways;
My skin is different to yours.
Understand I wasn’t there
When your lands were sold for nothing;
Your children taken from you
To live a ‘better way’.
I never introduced you to the white man’s demon drink;
The deadly cancer sticks;
Gross illness and the plague.
I cannot be sorry for things I did not do;
I wouldn’t expect it of you –
Why expect it then, of me?
Yet even if my ancestors had done these things
To your ancestors,
Why blame me?
I wasn’t there.
It wasn’t me.
And it wasn’t done to you.
That’s not to say I’m not sorry
For what happened to your people,
For what my people did to your people,
Or for what your people did to their own.
But it must be a past memory.
The future lies ahead.
We have to live together.
Why worry about a little word?
It means nothing if I have done nothing to be sorry for,
And you were not the person wronged.
But I am sorry.
I’m sorry we cannot forget the past.
I’m sorry we cannot look to the future.
I’m sorry we have to try to compensate you
For what our ancestors did to your ancestors.
Know this –
Some of my ancestors are your ancestors, too.
We’re all of the same blood.
Let’s be reconciled