There is a softness

Words by Sophia Chakma Hill.

Art by Oli Mcauslan

There is a softness in the way 
the way you tell them to care about the environment, its enough to be Indigenous 
your soft words hide the sharp edges 
your love for my mother brought you back to me
asking for my words, my blood 
as my mothers was too red and sliked through your fingers 
In a way I respect you 
the way you weave your soft words 
into a beautiful Indigeous that anyone can wear
do you think that just because they can put it on they will protect us? 
that they can wear it and the pain beneath our skin will 
disappear 
for the pain they caused we will gift them our identity, so when their blades cut into our stomachs, they can look soft too 
you asked me to write you a letter so you could use it and take it as your own 
to show a history of what was to prove that you have changed perhaps
I will tell you a secret 
my blood is sharp and as it drips through your fingers you will bleed as mine does
if I gave my blood to the coloniser they could drink it down and become more thirsty
you with your burkley education and your masculinity, you may be closer to them than my mother every could be 
but you are Indigenous. Don’t give that away to 
anyone. It won’t protect you or her, or us.

This poem was published in ‘Embers’, a pullout in Honi’s Semester 1, Week 11 edition.