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July 12, 2015

Silent Witness. {Poem}

Slavery, shackles, chains, imprisoned

I watched you in silence

And I felt helpless
as you labored.

And I saw you
so weary as you wept
with the waves and the pains
of giving birth.

And I was a silent witness
as I listened and heard
when you revealed
all of your secrets to me
one by one.

And as you began to recount
what had been done to you
and what you were forced to hide
and the pain you were made
to carry inside of your heart
my eyes widened
as I slowly began to see
the years of tyranny
and the abuse you suffered.

And still I did not know
what to do
so I remained silent.

And I watched you there
struggling for your last breath
as you told me
how they hung you from trees,
how they all gathered around
to watch as you were beaten.
I saw the places
where they had seared
through your flesh
right down to your bones.

And I heard your cries
and began to feel them
as my own when you spoke
of those old wounds
and all of those secrets
and sorrows that you carried
as you were forced to pay
for another man’s sins
and I was sickened.

And still I watched you silently
Until one day
I finally felt the pain
you were in and the burdens
that were weighing you down
over generations of time.

And I finally felt for you
and what it must be like
to wear a cloak of shame
because you were told to.

And I finally felt for you
and I felt the injustice
forced upon you
like invisible chains
as you wept for your children
past and future.

And I finally felt your strain
in my own throat
as I witnessed
your struggle to give voice
to your eons of agony.

And I watch you now
giving birth once again
I see you struggling
to release the old wounds
as they rise through
your belly and chest.

And the new day must be born
it is insistent
it is imminent
the sound of its cry
seeps from the depths
of you and becomes a wail.

And I watch you now weeping
tears that are a testament
to all of your suffering
as you struggle to regain your equality
and your right to be free.

And I watch you now
as you labor almost hopelessly
because all of your other children
have been taken from you at birth.
I watch you now
and I am bitter
and I am angry
and I am ashamed
for not speaking up sooner.

And I have no excuse
for remaining a silent witness
to your torture, your pain and your abuse.

 

~

Relephant Read:

What We Don’t See: A Closer Look at Sex Trafficking. ~ Heather Snyder

~

Author: Michelle Collier

Editor: Renee Jahnke

Image: Mendhak-Flickr

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