by Sondra Ball Copyright © 1995 Ball
You came from Spain and England and France,
calling us savages,
killing and conquering us
in the names of God and gold and greed.
You teach your children history.
You say your drive for independence
and your Constitution
and your sense of adventure
came with you from the east.
You tiresome ones!
Have you forgotten how you starved
those first long winters?
Have you forgotten how we fed you,
and taught you to hunt, and to grow crops?
Yes, you have forgotten.
I see it in your faces.
But I have a Quaker friend who
attended an international Quaker conference
three years ago.
She was surprised to learn she did not fit in
with the French Quakers,
with the Spanish Quakers,
or even the English Quakers.
Those who thought as she did
came from Mayan and Aztec and Inca
villages in the Americas.
You may write lies in your history books,
but in your hearts you know:
the land that belongs to us
transforms you to its image,
converts you to its gods.
And that image,
and those gods,