Monday, September 10, 2007

Telling the Story

Those of us who are still alive
carry the burden of telling the story.
Because this life that we follow,
this reality,
gets sliced, quartered and salted
by unexpected tears,
from songs long forgotten,
like haunting lullabyes
conjured up by vengeful hopes
betrayed by the collective amnesia.

Yet the story must be told.
Because time is relentless
and memory is fragile.

I weave bits and pieces,
each strand, a chord, a muscle, a piece of flesh,
tightened to remake the world that once was.

I sing those songs,
and the words, oh those precious words,
uprooted, torn out, taken someplace to die
have come back like zombies in Ford commercials.
And in my rage, my voice has forgotten how to sing.

Like a Rock. It gets stuck in my throat.
There’s no way to make those sounds.
I can only hear them in my heart.

Yet the story must be told.
Because before this cold, calculated first, second, third strike world,
there was warmth.
Even amidst the blinding heat of that war,
there were hands that held eachother,
eyes that cried for napalmed children across the sea,
and hearts that became horrified by the true white face of hatred.

Televised lairs lost their masks
and truth in all its painful courage
ran in our young blood.

Our young eyes cared not what color the flag
only that they were draped over coffins
of someone’s brother, father, son.

In telling this story I am not alone.
Thousands of silent partners
pull me from different directions,
each with their own dreams of the lives they led,
of the future that should have been,
and of the lessons we should have learned by now.

—Lisa Milos

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