• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07

What they took away

When I saw myself
with one sharply focused eye
the other dull, turned away
from what he wanted
his brush working
over my glistening scalp

when I saw this
I asked why his people
came with their investigations
their interest towards our kind

when I asked this
he rasped his pale moustache
the interpreter mumbled
about my beauty, my necklace
with the golden clasp

I asked again
this time about the land
my father said they took
our old men corralled
into the forest clearing

the interpreter said again
how grateful I was for this care
how I would sit again
in the White Master’s tent


What they took away

I saw the painting loaded
with gold into a trunk
so their people far off
could see my dark eyes
but not their rage