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They Came

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Below is the poem entitled They Came which was written by poet Patrick Maitland. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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They Came

The plain was flat, wild, and desolate
They came when I, a San, was digging up a root.
There were three
They were brown Xhosa, bigger than me.
Though they spoke in a tongue I did not know
I knew that I had to go
Further South across the river

They came as I, a Xhosa, was working in the field
There were three
Tall black Zulu, with assegai and shield
And though they spoke in a language I did not know
They made me understand that I must go
With them to hear their chief
Say that my land was his.
But I may live in peace
If I went to another land, another place.

They came when I, a Zulu, was in my hut
They did not knock, though the door was shut
There were three
They were white, and smaller than me
But they had guns which could kill
If I did not bend to their will
Though they spoke in a tongue I did not know
I knew I had to go
Further North across the river

They came when I, a White, was on my farm
They said they would do no harm
There were three
They were black, with paper and pen
They said they were here before me
And I must restore the farm to them
They knew it would hurt me so
But I had to go.
 
They came when I, a Black, repossessed my land
There were three
The Ghosts of the San
They said because I was black I could remain
As long as I did not claim
The land of the San had always been mine.
If I lived in peace
And erased the hatred in my heart
I could start afresh
And find happiness.

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  1. Date: 5/15/2012 7:15:00 AM
    enjoyed reading your work.....I studied alittle about the xhosa. take care!