Arts

The light that remains

A poem by Michele “Mickey” Hetherington, NSW

We stood as one, they came, and we defended our land, 
We fought for each other, we protected or own.
Now we stand divided, our fight is not for freedom anymore.

Sacred land even when built upon remains unchanged, though unseen.
We have fallen to a dark place, as the stranger to our land, we are now to our own.

Sorry is not the answer, our stolen will be forgotten, as we become lost to each other.
The Souls of our Ancestors will not carry us alone into the future.
We are the people of this land, we must find our light, and forever we must stand.

Mickey shares some thoughts to her poem:

“A lot has always been done to remember the history of WWl and WW2, we show respect to the fallen. I am proud of my heritage on both sides, [but] I wish that more was done to remember Aboriginal history in Australia…

“Whitefellas ways are seeing more true Aboriginal culture disappear, we need more people to unite, we need to respect each other more, and we need to take care of our people.

I know that my poems are written from an emptiness I feel inside , the sadness of the Stolen Generations and its impact on my family, [which] will leave so many questions unanswered.”

Homework

  • Find out what Mickey means with “now we stand divided” and what divides Aboriginal people today. If it’s not freedom, what is the fight for?
  • Why are Aboriginal people now a stranger “to our own”?
  • Write a compassionate response to Mickey’s poem and email it to me so I can forward it to her.

Cite this article

An appropriate citation for this document is:

www.CreativeSpirits.info,
Aboriginal culture - Arts - The light that remains, retrieved 30 March 2017