by Daniel Nuxe Thomas
Published on: May 19, 2009
Type: Poetry

Like our old folks used to say,
The rain never tells when it’s going to fall,
But just as the thunder roars, it is right behind.
So were we when the days were grey
And the street full of antiques.

There we watched our fathers being dragged like play carts down to the government yard
And whipped like the cream for a wedding ceremony.
We were conscious of the days when our mothers were maids
And we ate the crust off the very tables our parents’ franchise made influential,
We were conscious of the men
That used to call our uncles and grandfathers countrymen and paupers,
As they took them in hammocks from one town to another
As if they were vehicles trailing down a path on errands.

Like we were at the famous Rivoli Cinema,
We watched our civil war with fear and contempt
As the clashes of resounding arms engulfed our communities and detained our freedom,
But we remained conscious.

More and more conscious we became
When our schools and colleges were painted with the effigy
Of what they call Education for All,
When a globe of limited privileges we saw.

More and more conscious we were
When they made us conscripts in our once-loved army
And robbed us like masquerades in a dance of death.
I remembered the times we sat by the wooden TV set
And watched the parade and heard the 21-gun salute.
Oh, how conscious we were!

We grew like wild grass that needed to be weeded,
But with our consciousness we kept from the eyes of trouble,
We grew in knowledge and experience.
Election after election, we played our parts
And set up a system that has now become constant skeleton in our closets.
But, gently, let us not be deterred,
For our consciousness is the way to a new life for equity, justice and integrity.
Today we strive, tomorrow we shall rise…
Not as warriors, but as veterans of society and holders of equal rights for all.
We are conscious!

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