Slavery’s Stain

The crack of the whip
Does strip
The past bare.
Who would dare
To lift the curtain
For it is certain
To make the sensitive squirm.

Growing up in Liverpool I was told
A tale of how the city was built on slave owner’s gold.
Many there money gave
In the hope their soul to save
To schools and foundations
That dignify the nation.

What can one say
For it is a long way
Back and distance
Leads to resistance
To compensation
For the Caribbean and African nations.
An injustice vast
Stains our past
But should the Europeans of today
Pay for the injustices of yesterday?

One can apologise for one’s own mistake
But what good can an apology make
For a wrong long gone
And done by another one?

Great Britain abolished slavery in 1807
And all was right and god was in his heaven.
The woe
Caused by slavery did persist,
But should one then insist
On the payment of gold
To right wrongs untold?

We can not and should not forget
And yet
We must move on.
The slave owners are gone
And to apply modern morality to the past
Is, perhaps a thankless task.
Can we in conscience ask the guiltless of today
To reparations pay?
And, if so to whom
For the gloom
Has long since closed
Over those
Who where so cruely whipped
And stripped.



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