I wake with chest in strain
I gasp for breaths that cry fears
Dreams fill lungs that burn of tears
A voice that is a cry of pain!
Mother! What have I done all this life?
Have I worshipped you in ways
To bring you devotion and praise?
Or to be flayed by the economic knife?
Cut, maimed, logged and sold!
Ordered online by your copyrighted name!
Your protectors slain; your body claimed
To furnish our status in growth n’ gold!
Do your parts belong to me?
Photo’d, potted, transplanted n’ caged
To influence; to prove that I am saged;
But unable to devote to thee?
Am I that link to strangle your chosen ones?
In the worship of mono-colonial-theisms?
Or commodity-ism or solipsism?
While your native sons are spirited by guns?
How am I to see my cry is yours, Mother?
Poem by Gregory Kanhai
Gregory grew up in Guyana and immigrated to the United States after high school. He holds masters degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology. His writing covers topics of identity. As a child he read many nature magazines, spent quiet hours in his mother’s garden observing the insects and plants, and enjoyed the intimacy of power outages. He holds masters degrees in biology, neurobiology and psychology.