Cultural Severance, Realization

by Tyiako

I never knew my home.
Not religion, language, or culture.
No awareness of my ancestry, or

Who I would be
If some unknown great-father and mother of mine
had not been taken.
Even the stories have been threatened.

Preserved only through 'dumb nigger' savage intellect.

The choice to kneel, to survive
But truly survive in secret.
I don't think about it. It bothers me. That--
I know so little, only what I've heard.

When captors dominate history
Truth is subjugated to less

Than a footnote.

Who I am
Is who I am only

Because who I should be
Does not exist.

I, he, it, cannot exist in this world.

The ties to whoever I belonged to
Have been severed.
I've made my own culture. I've-
built who I am to their design-

My own touches, sure. But even so--

A piece of me is broken. A piece of me



And now,
Any flesh and blood of mine
Will have that same deficiency
Will lack the mother-land in their souls.

pa li te ye gran-papa ak manman m 'yo

I have to borrow
The languages of others
Because the speech I know
Isn't mine.

My native voice-
Lost somewhere along the way.

My culture
Is an adaptive one
Like my fathers before me
The requisite for continued existence.

I take

Because I've nothing of my own.

I hold one end of a severed rope
Its partner, my past, lost
tangled hopeless among any others

Like me

yearning for what they've lost.
Like me

hurled heedless into an existence not their own.

Looking at these

Like me 

who have been severed
thinking of that kindness
I've a new family
At least one chained
by the shackles of suffering.

Sijui nini la kuamini tena

Cultural Severance, Realization by Tyiako

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