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  • Joshua Lefort

The Voice Within

I jolted awake after five whips today.

I usually only endured three, but today.

The priest´s grasp was merciless.

I learned to live with the night terrors.

Unbeknownst to me, they´d been festering from a neglected wound.

One too painful to remember, seared into me in prison.

The Whites called it school, residential school.

However, this new residence was not home

nor were the classrooms a place to learn.

I thought back to my village but to no avail.

I could only remember the suicidal sky.

The one that had parted me goodbye.

In the bathroom, I rinse away my people´s blood.

I rub my face, and so does the woman in the mirror.

I stare back at her as my throat betrays me,

“Who are you?”

She had disappeared inside herself,

Taking shelter in the memory of a previous life,

One filled of woe.

Recalling the day she was sent off,

musing about what she could have done differently... There was nothing.

In truth, you hoped others would see the evil shine out of them.

That they would be condemned, but instead,

They were overlooked- swept away in the undergrowth.

The cries of every school rang inaudible to the masses. In plain sight we were invisible, confined within the bleak bloody walls.

There I was, a face among many in the House of Commons.

Important white people spoke, seemingly sincere. I knew what they were saying

but I couldn’t hear it.

I had been deafened by the same people that stood before me.

The tide of repentance was getting old.

I never got to enjoy life’s little triumphs

for they had been tainted with a grimy evil. Evil is a deep-rooted substance, it’s prints always seemed to follow you.

Upon returning to the mirror, I wiped her tears,

absorbing her within me. Although my steps were leaden by that of the past, My ancestors kept me afloat. At last, freed from my shackles

I am me, the indigenous within me.


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