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This poem was inspired by the following excerpt from the book Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton. It was written with my beloved country Barbados in mind and is dedicated to all civic-minded people who at some time have cried for their country but learnt that to love is inevitably to let go.

"Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much."

Cry, The Beloved Country

6b7e2884e1a0da7cdb410bd5f2cc3e4aby Jessica Taylor21 Mar 2014

Silence
Deafening silence
Eclipses our
cries
Cries steeped in
fear
Fear imbibed in bootleg
concoctions
Delicately drizzled on extended
tongues
Tongues twisted and tied in
fear
Fear of losing the land we love
Helplessly we gaze in drunken stupor
as she slithers through our
fingers
Fingers raw and clawed from moulding her into the gem she is
Threaten to obscure
Lungs nourished by her therapeutic sea breeze
Muscles and sinews formed in reverence to her coral formations
And feet irretrievably encased in her solid rock that is our home
Now she lies in need of blood transfused from our veins
Her frailty no longer camouflaged
This land
Our land
Paralyzed by fear
Overcome with love
Such beauty prevails
To love
To let go
The beloved country
We cry for you no more

Jessica Taylor © 2014