forget the words

   your people speak

forget the dreams

   your people seek

forget the ways

   your people live

forget the songs

   your people lift


for they are strange

   and have no place

within our walls

   within our space


you must conform

   become like us

but even that

   won’t earn our trust


hatred reigns

   alongside fear

and all your words

   they will not hear


for they have locked

   their hearts up tight

refusing friendship

   they would fight


to keep the world

   they understand

and never yield

   what’s in their hand


cry out! cry out!

   your story tell

your words will serve

   your people well


for with each heart

   that hears and breaks

you’ve gained a voice

   your part to take

Patricia Burlison


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