I cried for you night and day mother
But you were not there.
Father, I longed for your protective arms
But they were not there.
Foster home to foster home
Pretend parents pretended to love me,
And for a while it worked.
You came in and out of my life
Between treatment, prisons,
And moments of trying to get it together.
But soon washed away in a flood of tears
Like dirt on river’s edge.
Before they flooded our village
To make way for a hydro dam
To brighten the future of people
Who lived far away.
In cities we are not wanted in.
Eyes lightened and my heart beat faster
Every time I saw you both.
I remember those loving hugs
That we wished would never end.
For that brief moment, we were together.
Ancestors encircled and conjured up
Visions of our people dancing and chanting.
Then came promises of being together
Until then, stay put son, you are safe here.
I clung to those words of hope,
Like an insect on a piece of wood twirling in a river.
After a while, hopes became tattered and faded,
Like the blue blanket grandmother gave me
A long time ago, before the big flood.
I’m a man now, attending university,
And I love you both!
My arms outstretched to you
With hopes we can live together as a family
I will always be there….

Charles has been a social activist for 35 years. He can be reached at : aroha@shaw.ca. Read other articles by Charles.