Truth And Reconciliation

By Thamer Linklater

We are the granddaughters of survivors.

We are the nieces of people who never came home.
This entire year has been excruciating for us.
Not like a punch to the stomach,
One you don’t see coming,
Taking your breath all at once.
But like an avalanche.
The slow collection of snow on a mountaintop.
Until, one day, a sound sets off a cascade,
Wrecking everything in its path.

We all saw the building snow.
Our bodies knew the horrors untold.
You see, we live near the mountains.

Towns, however, that are crushed by snow,
Are shielded by walls and roads.
Existing so far away from mountaintops.

A sea of orange now floods the landscape.
T-shirts, signs, banners, handprints
Take up the space cleared by snow.
Some wear the colour to commemorate
Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins.
Some wear the colour to honour
The childhood that was stolen from them.
Some wear the colour as a sign of atonement.
Refusing to let history be buried.
Some wear the colour to blend in.

Using apologies, holidays, and shirts
To cover the gap.
Meanwhile pipelines, legal action, and police raids
Tear the rift further and further apart.

We are the granddaughters of survivors.
We are the nieces of those who never came home.
We are apart of the avalanche.
We had our hearts unburied with every child found.
Where do you fit in this story unfolding?

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