Dream Betrayed - Poem by Frank Bana
The child that from the corpse-heap rose
Nursed by the light of faces in horror
From the stumbling-on of devil’s ditch;
Dredged of swamp and covered in ash
The cripples of the wire, now linked in arms
Hit out in extinction’s fury, as locusts razed the fields
Where grass and fruit-trees shadowed the sand
Schools and play-pens built and ruined –
And barren homeland smeared with flowers.
The children spread, their brothers met in cities
Where newly-starred and ancient pushed for place;
In unalikeness found they middle-men to rule
In common proclamation, raising blue eyes to a heaven
Where phantom faultless ghetto fighters
Blazed ignorance of 'insects' they trod among
Spread nets against the honeyed hives of kings
That gave no home to brothers all.
In nation’s mantles grew they, lonely –
Dust-loosened clothes they wore like wire
And, huddled in victorious despair
Their knowledge was of history, necessity –
Security of encampment and maligned.
Ministers spread the word of unanimity
And choked with new gospel the intruder
Who, in all but history equal, deaf to definition,
Destroyer with incitement became.
The child of wrinkled face, pitted by oasis
Held weary monologue with common aged;
Scarred by colour and distinction-blind
Eyelids smeared in chemical blood –
And walked the child with stinging feet the ghetto
And tripped on rocks and signs painted “garden”.
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