Poem: They Say That We are the Ones

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by A.M. Davis

The ancient pain of my ancestors

came to me

in a dream.

He was disguised

as a three-year-old child

looking up at me

wanting to be held

but since I have been wary

of this particular pain

for so long

I would not let him rest

his child’s head on my shoulder


because he has left me

tired and tender

after handing me

his jagged-edged anguish

so many times before

so I let him pull on my leg

and look up at me

as I remained unmoved.

Once before

he came to me

disguised as a lover

when I was uninitiated

in his ways.


After he

wrapped himself

into every corner of my mind

he showed me

what he was made of:

Unsolved pain

gathered from slave ships

and sugar plantations

and from death marches

to reservations.


He held in his belly

a heavy loneliness

a longing

that voyaged across oceans

to build bridges and railroads

across river and prairie.

He carried

the cold and hard replacement

for every warm drop of blood

ever spilled onto a battleground

since time immemorial.


He was

that bottomless famine

that every human heart

that had ever been brutalized

and left to die alone created

as he was the remnant

that his heart left behind

after it tumbled

into the void.

This pain came to me

tugging at my leg

while holding

his dark night of the soul

behind that baby’s face.


You, he said,

are the one

I have been waiting for

wanting you

to finally see me.

Ann Marie Davis, whose pen name is A.M. Davis, was born and raised in Oakland, California. She is storyteller/poet, a speaker on behalf of the Earth. In 2007, she walked away from her job to devote her life to her creativity. Upon attending a silent meditation retreat, she found space of time in her racing mind, and discovered that she was not her thoughts. This led to daily meditation, retreats, and becoming part of the East Bay Meditation Center community. She recently discovered the Joanna Macy’s work, and the trajectory of her life finally made sense. You can find more of her work at annmariedavis.com.

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