Into The Light

black dust
clogged throat
life spent in the dark

wriggling maggots
with pallid skin
and red rimmed eyes
burrowing in the flesh
of mother Earth

my mother told me
when she could expel a word
from mucus filled lungs
that it was our lot
we
who had once roamed the surface
with the sun on our faces
were the cogs
the batteries
the coiled springs of the machine

and I accepted it
for what else was there to do
but nod
and agree
and dig where directed

when mother was dead
and I had fought my way into a foreman’s position
where I could feel safe

I dreamed

I dreamed about the sun
I dreamed about the sky
I dreamed about the sea

and I cried

countless ancestors cried with me
to see a proud people
reduced to things
to components in a machine

during rest periods
what few there were
I talked with others who cried in the dark
some were pitiful
the snivelling wrecks of a life in chains
but some
some were crying in frustration
crying in anger
and the anger grew

until
one day
a day when those who ruled were far away
a day when no ships patrolled the sky
a day when all that held us
was our own fear
and the few of our kind that were trusted with guns

on that day we stood up

our chains were nooses
our spades guillotines

we stood up and we fought

with the overseers dead
or at least their bodies shuddering and jerking
down the path towards death
and with the black dust washed away by bright scarlet
we stumbled out into the light

our eyes full of wonder we stared at the sky
our guns held high we roared defiance

and watched
and waited
and prepared
for the ships

ships that we knew would return

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