Mother-Tongue Torch. A Reflective Poem About Justice Storytelling.

By Marlena

A paradox, a trap.
Oh justice, make me not a fool.

Is a story only as powerful as its privilege?
A torch lit long ago,
A mother’s crying voice under a foot
Finally makes its way to the ear
and the ear to eyes that open
and the eye to a mouth
to a mouth to a mouth to a mouth
And the throng of Justice is formed
And the torch is needed up front
For the front and its frontlines.
Come tell! Come tell!
Till the torch is swept up from the hands of the mother
Even as she runs to the line,
Swiftly stolen by the cheering crowd
A new anointing
For the sons of inheritance already claimed.
A story to tell, a burdened heart
A loud mouth, a blind ear.

A mothers’ song without a mother tongue.
A story without its heroes.
A picture without its colour.

Waves of feelings, feelings, feelings
Feelings without scars
Martyrs of a foreign cause
Whose mother lives only to walk sons to home-made graves.
And the torch becomes a talking stick
Held higher than its mother can reach,
by hands attached to feet standing on privilege like
a soap box.
'Till a mike is leaned downward from the stage
Oh Woman! Come tell!
Of the legacy of labour we thought lore
Of labour for justice. For Justice!

The hungry for a cause causing hunger.
Keeping ourselves in check
with cheques kept to ourselves.
Condolence cards sent to the mother
Colour cards sent to their sons.

A paradox, a trap.
Oh justice, make me not a fool.