They Leave Their Names All Over the Place, Janet Marie Rogers, 2014

It takes 50 years to plough

A path through death lined roads

The height of and route to

Functional relationships

Is celebrated annually

With flags and anthems

All the colours of the rainbow

Believing the beginning began

With them

 

It takes 400 years to undo it

To stop speaking to one another

Counting seasons

By how much can

Be taken

Canoes made of tree people

Brought humans and cotton

In no time

The lovely long-haired maidens

Were wearing calico

 

We were left eating more than flesh

To keep the agreement happy

Over time paths widened and flattened

Waterways filled like free-ways

We made trade, We take pay

We made way, they want to stay

Their rules, their game

 

Who is left suffering

from discovery envy?

Naming rivers after themselves

Birthing namesakes on landscapes

Indians say, we should have killed them

Lost men with a thirst to find the pacific

Politely curious Whites guys

Unapologetically superior

At least the coffee tastes good

While re-telling the story

A history filed with clenched fists

Still shaking

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