Ana Til Day Poem

I wrote this with my cousin the night before she had to perform it, around 10 pm, after watching Aus v France in the World Cup, cold and tired in a community centre while we waited for P.O.E.T kids to finish practicing their play for the Ana Til Day/Eid celebration. I decided to make it rhyme and sound more like something written by or for children. Enjoy.

 

I was born here, I was raised here, it’s all I’ve ever known
Yet all my life I have been taught this is my second home

My first home is where our mother tongue was born
Where she blossomed in the mountains tall
In the valleys, connecting oases
Across hot deserts and snowfall

She taught my parents how to speak
And through them spoke to me
And though right now she is imprisoned
Through my tongue she can be free

While her mouth is clamped closed
My voice will be loud and strong
They may attempt to drown her
But through us her life is long

And through that connection we can learn
Our banned, unrevised history
Be proud of who we are as a people
Full of intellect and glory

We learn to love ourselves at a time
We are told we are backwards and old
We learn the truth of our natures
So we can move forward bold

And while they try to rid us of her
We speak truth into our identities
We sing loud the beats of our hearts
And the rhythms in our stories

We keep her alive in our speech
In our letters, we continue to teach
The next generation in this country
Where we can learn of our homes in peace

I was born here, I was raised here, it’s all I’ve ever known
But one day we will go back to our ancestral home
And at that time I will take my mother tongue with me
For though right now she is imprisoned, through us she will be free

 

 

Note: (“here” refers to Australia)

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