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One Imagination empowers the current and next generation of leaders through written and oral expression. As a collective based in the Long Beach/South Bay area, we believe that through conscious artistic programming, community education and outreach, and leadership development, we can cultivate a world free of hatred, ignorance, injustice, inequality, and oppression.

Friday, March 19, 2010

1i POEM OF THE DAY: for freedom by Narinda Heng

for freedom

Our soldiers

what are we doing to them?
what have we asked from them?

not only their
physical effort

not only their
mental discipline.

We’ve asked for
their lives–

we’ve asked them
to fight our wars

to imprint forever on their souls
the images of destruction

we’ll never see with our own eyes
for the sake of our status quo.

Do we wonder

what they feel
when that M-16 is in their hands

what they feel
when they’re told to fire

what they feel
when the explosions begin

what they feel when
they return home

and the visions
haunt their dreams?

Do we wonder enough

what happens to our
soldiers in the dark
of their memories

what happens to their hearts
when they are forced
to return to war?

Don’t tell me
we do not force them

don’t tell me
that the soldier I sat next to
on a plane last winter
on his way to see his baby daughter
for the first time in nearly two years
was happy to be ordered on another tour

don’t tell me
he went willingly
and not because circumstance
had made the military
look like the best way
he could provide for his family

don’t tell me
he went willingly
when he was supposed to be
finished with his obligation

don’t tell me
we don’t use force
in one way or another.

We ask of our soldiers

their strength
their intelligence
their hearts
for our freedom

have we

written by Narinda Heng

Narinda Heng is a featured artist at this month's Break the Silence on Thursday, March 25th, 7-10PM. She is a writer currently based out of Long Beach, CA. She writes at Long Cool Hallway with The Undeniables.