Brahms’ Requiem: Movement 3 Reflection by Branton Waitiki

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Culture and Science of Nonviolence | 0 comments

There is a boundary I do not cross.

It moves depending on the mood of others.

Mom has nightmares of a family  broken by anger

Babies without moms.  A husband calling from another home.

My father came to America

To own land.

From our first days here

He brought home lime-flavored Ice

From the Multi-Care vending machine at work.

We also brought home empty pockets

And his little bag with his clinic clothes.

Most of all, he brought home anger.

We live in a country inside America.

The boundaries move

when we move.

I seek the singer of a delightful song to show me my future.              

We are surrounded by a jungle of gunshot wounds that walk

And talk, or wheel themselves back and forth in front of the house.

Dad’s watch constantly breaks

Silver is chipped. He knows the hour

At work because of the wall clock.

Our time is measured in minutes/

At my house there’s no gamble on dinner.

You can bet on fresh anger and win every time.

Purple knuckles knocking air senseless.

In this same country cousins born with their names

Will never hear them said by peers in their future.

They live on the edge too, but my aunt and uncle

Fit their jobs and they sing.

Wishing is a form of cowardness. 

I cower waiting for a time

Where crime will not wake me up.

A boy in his house, window shining red, white and blue

Searching for a suspect.

In this red, white and blue world

Land is taken and painted red

Homes fill with the blues

As mother learns to raise a black boy

While white crashes through hope.

Immigrants zig and zag running for cover.

My adult sister lives across town.

By now even mom and dad call her by an American

English name.  Waiting for life

Breeds fear and fear can kill the nicest people you know.

We are afraid, silent and silence is deadly.

My sister hugs me like a robot,

A cute machine that’s programed

To de-escalate and keep her lips sealed.

Drums of freedom have not reached the corner of my country.

We are tied to humans who are not truly free.

I ask for a wise person to point which way to my future.

The story of a boy

Who might choose

A nightmare, or a casket

Or a simple welcoming of the dead.

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