Here, they say, too bad for your noble losses.
You will not escape judgment from the misinformed.
You stand, bare of dignity,
held to standards existent only to those who are ignorant.
You stand, with your face and your skin
blatantly telling of failure, of loss, of broken dreams.
Here, they say, we know who you are,
even if you don’t.
Your losses are known and made invisible,
Hundreds of years ago you lost everything.
Move on, get over it.
You’ll never belong anyway.
Here, they say, we love who you used to be,
but we tried to kill you all
and you’re useless now.
Here, they say, let us take what we like from you,
Let us take the beauty, the harmony, the glory, the legacy.
We think we can sell it, at a price even more severe than it has already cost you.
And people will buy it all the while looking down at you,
telling you that you come from a dead past,
that you deserve nothing,
that it’s your fault,
that you were allotted a chance
you failed, continue to fail.
Here, they say, you look beautiful with your traditional regalia,
Just don’t open your mouth.
Dance, they say, like puppets. Be quiet and beautiful.
You are defeated, destroyed.
Pay no attention to what the voice in your head says:
“I’m standing on the stage
Of fear and self-doubt
It’s a hollow play
But they’ll clap anyway.”
Here, they say, dance now,
spin your colors at the pow-wow,
forget the lies
and we’ll all clap anyway.