Throughout the month of September, Brampton Library youth volunteers have focused on Truth and Reconciliation issues. They have read books, watched films, and discussed the tragedies that have occurred. We are grateful for their passion and commitment and pleased to share their poems here:


The Unmasked Truth

by Adiba Hoque

On the 30th of September,

We come together and remember,

The awful things that have been done,

To the young kids who had not seen their families for the longest time,

We thought it was acceptable until we knew it was a crime,

Stripping their culture from their heart and their mind,

As we remember those residential schools on Orange Shirt Day,

We also remember the deep scars they have welded into Indigenous people’s lives

  

Lost Words: The Silent Genocide

by Harmit Saini: 


I lost my speech 

You snatched it from me 

Years of being silenced and unvoiced; 

The language I spoke was a taboo and forbidden  

Eventually lost with time 


It was taken from me; 

Today; I speak like you 

I interact like you 

I do you 

I am you!


I speak one language out here 

and another language at home 

However, I fantasize about one language, 

One language only. 

My mother tongue.


The one that prevails 

My heritage and family roots.

 

Sands of change 

by Binaisha Dhillon 

(Told in first person)


Sea of sand,

Sands of time,

I walk on these sands alongside all of you,

Yet my feet burn with each step.

Beneath these sandy shores, buried far out of sight, lay burning embers.


It seems as though only my people and I feel these embers on this journey of life we as humans share.


Some of us stopped walking, 

They sat down and with them stayed their stories and gifts.

I nor anyone else on these shores will ever learn their history.


These embers may continue to burn my feet but I won’t stop walking.


I won’t stop until the sea can cool these embers so that my people may not suffer in silence anymore,

I will walk so no more stories and traditions are lost to the pain and suffering caused by these hidden embers,


I will walk on until the sands of time bring us change.

 

Horrors

by Janvi Paul  


Every child matters

To honour we must hear the stories that’ll make your heart shatter


Taken from their families and homes 

Only to be shoved into the dark unknown 

The government thought of this as a victory 

The unknown is known throughout history… 

As residential schools

Cruel afternoons filled with abuse.


It really is a reality 

That the indigenous children suffered brutality.

They are true warriors 

Having to see the horror, torture and slaughter 

Safety there was a bluff

Their eyes have seen more than enough 


Making it hard to sleep

They lie in bed with eyes that weep 

And as they rise from their bitter beds

Another day they have to face with never ending dread.


More than 600 children found dead 

The tears their families must’ve shed

All unmarked graves 

Bodies hidden for decades. 


An apology isn’t enough to show regret 

So, after all that lets not forget 

Their culture is beautiful, stolen and deep

As a community we were weak

For those children and families we should’ve stood together in unity

To help protect their identity


To honour the indigenous children’s battles 

Speak up about what’s right because every child matters.

 

A Broken Record 

by Fatima Ahmed : 

His tears dashed down his face leaving streaks marring his innocence 

His childhood was lost to time the moment he stepped foot into the wretched halls of that school 

Each soul altering step he took through those halls took him further from the angelic boy he once was, yet to be tainted with the monstrosities of the land he called home, and closer to the man he one day would be

A man lost to the perils of grief, mourning a childhood he never had 

It drew closer day by day 

Moment by moment 

He stood paralyzed as they took his very essence 

"Beat the Indian out of the boy," they said  

He fears he may have lost the boy to the beating along the way

For the man that stood before him was barely that 

A shattered relic 

A recollection of travesties perpetrated against his people 

A broken record loved once, but now and henceforth lost to the perils of humanity and its woes 

 

The Search for a Forgotten Boy

by Krupa Dave

As “78” stands under the towering ceiling of the dormitory,

There’s no feeling other than imprisonment that confines them in.

An unfamiliar memory of a boy locked in his mind like a repository,

Amidst the cries, he tries to recall him

 

His consciousness hangs on to the swirls and echoes of a lost and forgotten world.

As the ghost of memories visit his dreams, he can’t help but ponder -

The whispers of a native tongue as they unfurl,

A joyous family in the distance laughs yonder.

 

The last embrace the boy shared with his mother before he was taken captive.

The smell of campfires, wood and home felt distant yet so familiar.

As he looks in the mirror, he doesn’t seem to recognize a reflection so adaptive. 

The boy’s once long hair, ghost of a smile, and spirit had never looked so conciliar.

“78” puts his head down to grieve the boy.

 

Did he bury him somewhere inside of him?

The long-lost forgotten boy.

The boy who once went by a name, not a number.

Him.

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