For Our Children, For Our Ancestors

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Image of a residential school. Orange box with text reading "our bruised skin cannot contain the beatings of our ancestors nichole forbes"
Written on May 29, 2021 in response to the discovery of the remains 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation.
The walls are screaming
With silent cries
The ground is drenched
With generations of tears
The earth trembles
With terrible secrets
buried deep in the soil
buried deep in the soul
flowing freely in the blood
We feel the devastation
in our bones
in our guts
in our throats
We see time has changed the landscape
We see time has changed nothing
These are not stories of the past
wrongs of the past
wounds of the past
Our scars show through our generations
Our bruised skin cannot contain
the beatings of our ancestors
Our veins burst open
The blood of our relatives pool around our feet
Our bodies cannot hold the trauma
We weren’t built for this
We weren’t created for this
life
pain
death
sorrow
The soul feels the screams
The heart collects the tears
The hands grasp for healing
The voice cries out for change
for life
for justice
We weren’t created for this
We are more
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