What do we owe the dispossessed?
Whose hunting grounds are now our playgrounds,
Our subdivisions, shopping malls, parking lots,
Our sidewalks, streets, highways, postage-stamp lawns,
Truly, what do we owe them?
Whose sacred places are now our toxic wastelands,
Or paved over by concrete or macadam,
Or made over into ersatz wilderness
From which they are the one native animal
Which is excluded?
What do we owe them?
Who have moved into quarters long since
Vacated by genocide?
Whose ancestors were oceans away,
Victims of their own genocides?
What do we owe the dispossessed,
Who are now in possession?
Must not those who enjoy the stolen fruit
Assume the burden?
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.