Martyr's Day (May 6, 1916)
Twenty-one lives ended as abruptly as the sickening snap
of the ropes going taut and straining against the weight of
Twenty-one bodies hanging.
Twenty-one voices silenced for belonging to people
with minds of their own,
minds that joined together to dream of
a better future for our people.
Twenty-one people who were brave
enough to speak their ideas
in the face of
oppression and power-hungry rulers.
Their lives and their voices are gone,
but their ideas live on in those of us still living,
still breathing resistance and daring to dream.
Twenty-one deaths give renewed life to one dream,
the dream so many of us share of freedom and
the right to guide our own destiny.
Yet the dream still seems distant, and the path ahead
is long and tough to travel,
obfuscated as it is by the blood of
Twenty-one martyrs and many more lives
cut short for daring to dream dreams of their own
Or seeming to be obstacles to power.
We stumble over the memories of their bodies.
We move forward, but slowly, their discarded lives
weighing us down as their dreams push us ahead.