No (More) Forbidden Languages
They told us not to speak one word
of the language we left behind.
We wept and lived in loneliness.
Fear and anger filled every mind.
The voices of our mothers sang
Lullabies in our hearts at night.
We whispered back in defiance
Our forced silence gave us fright.
New words and sounds around us
Scraped our tongues and ears.
We learned them painfully
With little curiosity, only fears.
Some of us lost our language
We never learned the new one well.
We hunger for ancient stories
Our grandparents used to tell.
We ask you now to consider
The futile, hateful strategy
To wipe out a language and culture
And forbid human dignity.
Every language has its beauty
In history, in story and song.
Every culture enriches the world
In which we all belong.