Do you remember when we were free?
The country protected us as we worked happily.
If anything went wrong, we could barely feel the blow.
When politics was just competition, not a stab in the throat.
We were free from attitude and people invading our space.
We enjoyed seeing family come over, now we stare in their face.
We have nothing to look forward to, except children going back to school.
We have seen everything go wrong, and authorities breaking the rules.
One man cannot change four years of destruction in a day.
With patience and understanding, it may all go our way.
Yes, I remember when we were free.
As a country, as one, we can make it like it used to be.
When We Were Free
“Do you remember when we were free?”
The words rang in my memory. My eyes were already wet with tears, I had been working non-stop for days. I was being driven as a slave. No one cared, no one helped, all they wanted was someone to do their work for them. Someone like me, a slave, a girl they kidnapped from a poor family.
I sighed and tried to rest before the morning light peeked through the darkened sky. I tossed and turned on the small cot I laid on. My mind was swirling with thoughts. Unanswered cries filled my heart as hatred started to build in my thoughts. Hate against these people who ripped me away from my life, from my family, from my future.
More tears slipped to the small, raggedy pillow under my head. I turned again on the cot, trying to quell the hateful thoughts that now took over.
I closed my tired eyes, forcing myself to think of when I was free. A young girl asked that dreaded question. The one that never left my mind, the one that now burned like a wildfire inside me. Yes, I remembered when we were free. I remembered the joyful, fun, care-free days. I remembered the fun-filled memories made with my family.
I sucked in a deep breath, holding a sob that threatened to break through my throat. My mother had taught me to love anyone and everyone. I pushed the hateful feelings deep inside, far where I knew they would never surface again. A pain-filled thought crept through my mind, one that made me cry harder. I slowly relaxed myself, trying to remain calm. My tears subsided, my sadness still lingered nearby my mind. Yet, my grief and heart-ache were still stronger than ever. I whispered, before allowing myself to sleep, "Yes, I remember when we were free." I answered the question that had been burning in my mind for so long.
Another whisper came from someone near me, one in reply. "We will be free, one day we will again feel freedom. Others will be free because of what we did. We will work so others may have freedom." The final words slowly faded in the darkness.
Do you remember
when we were free?
I remember looking at you like you’d fly
I remember the late summer nights where fireflies would
light up the sky and I
remember how you looked into my eyes and
we danced into the sunrise.
Do you remember now
how you laughed into the breeze?
You told me we could do anything
you said that with ease,
you said that to me
knowing you’d leave.
Do you remember
when we were free?
I remember looking at you like you’d fly away
You smelled like the forest,
dew from the storm
dripped upon your face,
spruce needles dangled
in your hair like ornaments
and flower petals fell beneath your feet,
your breath rose in the air
like the mist upon the canopy,
you and the forest were once the same.
For some the sun is
now already eclipsed;
I await the morn.
* * * * *
/ n o t a r e
Composed in the evening on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 while awaiting a glimpse of the solar eclipse from the Mississippi River.
I don't have to remember freedom
it is always, forever, now
it never left.
Even tied up in chains
of you own
or someone else's doing
you are free always
free to choose
what to feel
how to react
to fight or die.
If you don't remember
when you were free
made that choice.
I Was Having a Blast
Do I remember. I do? I don’t? Does that make me a pretender? (Chrissy Hind?) In the 8o’s I was still a juvenile offender. Free to fool around all day. Not an overdo bill hanging over my head that need to be paid someday.
Out running on two good knees. Living off the old mans dime. Rent free. In a beachfront cottage most of the time. Lucky me.
I agree I’ve led a charmed life. Up until i had to start footing the bill. For myself and eventually two kids and a wife. Now free time is a distant memory. And my thoughts pull me in opposite directions. As I work another weekend away from my family.
Because I’ve been thru enough dry spells. To worry if I’ve enough saved to get us thru the next. Lest it leave us in hell. When not if it comes. As its flip flopped so often now. Three times in my lifetime. Every new decade the economies been cursed with a hex.
A long time has past since the burden of learning this knowledge beset me and my thoughts specifically. Denying me all the pleasantries I’d had known before. When I was free from responsibility. And had yet to learn the knowledge of good and evil. Blissfully ignorant of what providing for oneself or any other entails.
Not a worry in the world beyond where my friends were surfing at, skateboard was hiding, or the fish were biting. What others thought of me or themselves hadn’t yet crossed my mind. As I reveled with all the other little devils on the block. Till the first knock to my pride. A betrayal by a trusted companion that caught me off guard. Believing I could spot a lier and steer well wide of the mire caused by such. I was blind to the fact one of my closest could conspire against me. Before that I was truly free. Ignorance is Bliss.
Nothing left to Lose
We had to sell the house of course. Living on an island and using the ferry, getting to the hospital was just too inconvenient. Still, moving into a care home also meant downsizing. We could have put our possessions into storage, but that's expensive and anyway, once I was on my own, why would I sink my savings into buying a house?
Once she'd gone, I also rehomed both dogs. No landlord would take two animals. I have to say I didn't feel guilty. They got a fabulous placement on an acreage, much better than anything I could provide.
No kids of my own, and being an immigrant, I've no family here. My wife had two kids, already adults when we married, so neither that close to me, even if they didn't live hundreds of miles away. As for any friends and neighbours, moving erected a barrier.
Once she'd died, I left the care home, far too expensive, and moved to a furnished apartment. Nice enough place but still one more purge of belongings. All that's left now is the car. I'm also retired so no workplace to visit, but I could still go shopping and start conversations. That 's something old people can do, but not after Covid so that door got closed. Before the pandemic, I caught the flu and had to look after myself. Not a big deal but it's nice to have someone who'll to the drug store.
Don't get me wrong. I'm blessed in may ways. I have a decent pension, good enough health and some money from the house sale, and I've since met a wonderful woman who wants to be in my life. That isn't the point.
In the space between the relationships, I would know a level of freedom like none before in my life. At times it was heady. Left without responsibilities, I was a free agent in the universe and after the challenge of caring for my partner, the empty time felt good. Still, I never fooled myself. I was free only because I had nothing left to lose. That's not such a comfortable feeling.
run down my back
Germs I can’t see
have locked my door
I hide my face
like the bandit
the grocery store
Wash my hands
fear governs my
This tiny virus has
caused me more
In distant times
before it held
my world as a
I remember hugs,
kisses and love without
I used to walk
and not balk
I used to eat
without fear as my seat
the government reckons
if we do as we’re told.
Do I remember when we were free?
You mean do I remember the way the sky
lit up above us when the moon decided to
steal a glance?
The way the flowers seemed to dance
around us, the way the trees swayed, never
holding back flying in the wind freely?
Yes I remember when we were free.
now the sky darkens without warning,
not sparing a thought,
and now how the moon
watches us with closed eyes.
The flowers are now nothing but crushed
petals under our feet,
the trees stay as still as
our minds on a cold winter
Yes I remember when we were free.