Father, forgive me.

by Poet on the Piano   Jan 3, 2020


Father, forgive me.
Forgive how I want to
scream at you
when you relish
in the news of
going to war,
when you smile at
our military expanding,
sending more of our youth
overseas.

They are told that blood
is a price we must pay,
but when did we deem
our blood the most sacred?

Father, forgive me.
Forgive how I want to
show you the civilians
who haven't had time
to bury their loved ones.
In the midst of airstrikes,
the bodies pile
like burnt sienna leaves
of a season destined
to die.

Father, forgive me.
Forgive how some days I
detest the privilege
I was born into,
the safety net I walk above
when tried by the law,
the shame in knowing
how many believe
our country is superior,
every other nation
better off in ashes.

Father, don't forgive me.
I'm not sorry for
wishing our land
was stripped of nuclear
powers.
I'm in the audience,
watching the puppeteers
who decide to kindle
a war and tuck us in
at night with tales of
genocide.

You call it taking what
is rightfully ours;
I call it greed,
I call it a history of white
men exploiting anyone
who doesn't act like them.
I know you, all too well,
how you refuse to shed a tear
for anyone who isn't
American enough.

You crave the power,
the nationalism,
without it you're nothing.
I see the compliance in your eyes;
there is no humanity
in soil that is not your own.

Father, this home will never
be my home.
It is a womb of violence.
I am tainted, too.
We are all tainted.

Father, I know you dream
at night
of assimilation,
of pride,
of foolishness.

I'll always be ashamed
of the man you chose to be.

4


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Latest Comments

  • 1 month ago

    by Maher

    This is heartbreaking, but I have to agree that it is a reality. I myself was born in Australia, though both my parents are from Tartous in Syria. My dad has told me stories of having to serve in the military there and how unjust it was even back then - he's 76 years old now - and other accounts from relatives and older family friends corroborate how corrupt it was and still is, though even more so now. My mother's family also has a pretty extensive military background. Her father was in special ops and often had to go away for days and weeks at a time on missions when she was young. His father also served past his compulsory time, and my uncles are currently in the navy. Thankfully, they aren't of that nationalistic mindset and they disagree wholeheartedly with what's going on. It's a terrifying thing as I can't even go to visit my family there as I may not be allowed back into Australia on grounds of "terrorism". If I am allowed re-entry, I'd be constantly harassed by the authorities and more than likely placed under surveillance.

    Now to your poem, there's rumour of a potential war with Iran. Being Australia, they will follow the footsteps of the USA and probably join in, even with our current bushfire crisis. Not only will American soldiers fight a war on behalf of rich fatcats at the top, but supporting nations will do the same, even though they have no direct involvement in the issue. It's a school fight mentality of starting the fight and then saying "lay off my mate or I'll jump in and get all my boys involved too".

    Apologies. Point being, if the entirety of creation was to be put into a timeline, we'd be at the last light of the sunset hours, just before nightfall. There's still a hair of light left, but once that's gone, so will the light in people be gone.

  • 1 month ago

    by nourayasmine

    Yes, my father also used to think he's defending his country and his people. He was used in a dirty war that was planned and run by dirty, wealthy men to achieve a horrific "victory" that will make them even wealthier. He ended up sacrificing his life because of a flawed perspective. I wanted to scream at him, too.
    "how you refuse to shed a tear
    for anyone who isn't
    American enough"
    Wow. Nationalism is stupid.

  • 1 month ago

    by Rania Moallem

    to well needs to be "too well"?

    A brave piece. I for one didn't comprehend it as Koan did. I don't think someone criticizing injustice would be targeting a certain group. I don't need to belong to any religion or background to see how truthful you were in this piece.

    This isn't just about white however.. this is the tongue of every government today... the slaves of power and money. it's been long gone... the days were real battles were fought for real causes.

    long gone..

    • 1 month ago

      by Poet on the Piano

      Thank you for reading (and catching the "too"), Rania! Means a lot. And yes, well-said.

  • 1 month ago

    by Koan

    So in your eyes all evil was created by white christian men...
    Even as a Jew I cant say that! Im truly sorry if this is how you feel...
    As for your poem, I loved it Its honest and makes you think... It has a nice flow and if you read it really fast it will give you a nice beat/rythm .. Im not sure how to explain it..

    • 1 month ago

      by Poet on the Piano

      I appreciate you reading, Koan, I really do.

      To comment on the "white men" part, I debated on whether to keep that part but I chose to keep it in my poem because I believe race is a factor, is an issue that needs to be talked about more in-depth. Too often, white men completely deny or invalidate people of color's struggle and pain. This is from what I see from my father and other white men in my life. I also am white and have privilege, as statistics show that people of color are often targeted far more, whereas I do not have to worry about police violence, etc. I also think back to the genocide of indigenous peoples, from the pilgrims' arrival and theft of Native American land to more recently the Dakota Access Pipeline protests that started in 2016, where sacred land was not preserved, and protestors were targeted with tear gas and attack dogs for standing their ground to protect culture and history.

      I believe in accountability, and I think it's not digging deeper when there is the immediate reaction of "not all white people are guilty of racism". History has proven that white people are given opportunities and treated differently than minorities or people of color. People may say, "don't play the race card", but statistics show how people of color still face racism, even subtle/casual racism that we may or may not know we are participating in. That can be just as dangerous.

      I shouldn't have to counter with "No, of course not all evil was created by white men", because that is looking at an almost black-and-white statement. Of course, there are good, honest people. Does that mean they still are not products of privilege, as myself? The first step is acknowledging privilege and seeking to address racism and how we can speak aloud about it, rather than go on the defensive.

      I also did not mention Christianity in my poem, as I don't believe it was immediately relevant. Mainly, my vent was about the glorification and warmongering I see here, especially the attitude that we need to keep sending troops (when I believe often times war is not justifiable, and that the US is the one egging it on, therefore innocent blood on both sides is lost). I also know quite a few veterans in my city who have not been treated well and cared for the way they should. I believe that people care more about making other countries dependent on us so then civilians of other countries are forgotten about, stripped of their humanity, and that we forget our own too. If we really want to support our troops, we would stop glorifying the military industrial complex. It's an endless war. It's all for profit.

      In my opinion, there is a difference between nationalism and patriotism. True patriotism should be being able to criticize your country because you care about it, not simply giving support even if there are clear injustices occurring.

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