Treasure Island

Cheryl L. DaytecYañgot

(Baguio City, Philippines)


My forebears carved rice terraces
from the foot of mountains
In the wooded apex, they plucked berries
Swapped stories of children’s betrothal
And antics of precocious grandchildren
They sowed seeds and more seeds
For the future thousands of years ahead
Pledged by the bulges in women’s bellies
The shrill cry smile of a newborn babe
The frantic scream of countless fawns
Skittering through the dense backwoods
Hungry for their mothers’ breasts
Amid the smell of clean, fresh air

The white men came with their guns
My forebears spilt the white men’s blood
On the land that breathed their life
With blood, they watered their dream
That their future would one day arrive
No gun could erase their bloodline

You came with your promise of jobs,
Of civilization, of candies and easy life
But life was easy before your kind came
The last frontier you see here is not ours
To bargain away to insatiable greed
We loaned it from our children
As our forebears did from us

We cannot betray our forebears’ dreams
The lies of your greed are worse than guns
The thick shadow of your deception
Is cast on our history, evident in our hunger
The destruction of our burial grounds
The muted cries of our ancestors’ ghosts

Your lies will end our lives, erase our future

Blood is the color of our determination
Our history will not die with your lies
Do not force us to paint this land

with your blood

Submitted: Monday, November 03, 2008
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