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Leo'n*

Emily Hill

 

Oh tell me your story, you city of old.

Entreat you do I; let your account unfold.

I'll listen intently, won't turn a deaf ear.

Your story, your sorrow, the world needs to hear.

 

"When ancient was new, 'twas here I was placed.

Constructed by slaves, a subordinate race.

And when finally the erection was o'er,

Brutally tortured and murdered they were.

 

Then came the white man with his cross, horse, and gun,

And more lives were lost 'til his gold he had won.

The dark-skinned were beaten and slain with a knife

By people claiming to be so much like Christ.

 

And, oh, yet another slaughter came about.

The white man and native again had a bout.

Yet, this time the situation was reversed:

The Spaniard was set ablaze inside his church.

 

Still once more endured I a humongous weight.

A simple idea accompanied with hate

Sped up the demise of so many more,

And brought left against right and rich against poor.

 

And still here I stand, so primitive and proud.

My body holds buildings. My limbs still hold crowds.

The smiles of my children help to ease the pain,

But the memories comeback, again and again.

 

Oh stranger, you foreigner, this you must hear:

Blood-shed will bring blood-shed and hatred and fear.

Oh be you not frightened of nature or time

Fear only yourselves and your infamous minds.

*Dedicated to the city of Leo'n, Nicaragua