Poem: And If We Cry

If we cry,
We are not weak,
We are healing,

If we cry,
We are not powerless,
We are learning our power,

If we cry,
We are not silent,
We are speaking through our tears,

If we cry,
We are not beaten down,
But rising up,

For it was not long ago,
When our tears,
Fell to the Earth in silence,
The Earth listened,

Our tears turned inward,
A violent rage,
An unnecessary oppression,
Internalized oppression,
Onto ourselves,
Families,
Communities,

Overflowing onto the our reservations,
Trickling down the street,
Into the forest,
This isn't right,

In city streets,
Urban areas,
We fight with other races,
We become even more invisible,
Because we were supposed to be dead,
Annihilated,

To be "normal," in suburban towns,
Looks like we are picture perfect,
White middle class,
Reaping the benefits of white culture,
Turning inward,
Outward,
We are outcasts,
The fire inside,
The fire inside our homes,

If we cry,
We are releasing generational pain,
The burden of the ancestors,
We cannot describe the sorrow,

If we cry,
We have no shame,
We have no guilt,
We are not to blame,

The culture gives us no space,
To cry,
Sometimes we cry alone,
Filling up our pillow with tears,
Crying over the kitchen table,
Pacing back and forth,

If we cry,
We are gaining back our identity,
We are integrating the pieces,
There is no order to integrating the soul,
The order is chaotic at times,
Its our job,
As we fight with the majority culture,

If we cry,
We are not crying alone,
We cry with the ancestors by our side,
We cry with the future generations alongside us,
When we cry we are reclaiming who we are.