Our original sin

by Elouise

I wonder…
Does each nation
Each country
Have an original sin
The seed of its
Particular ignominy
Running through veins
Shot full of raging
Hormones escalating
Into tragedies
Of historic proportions
Played out in
Unnumbered permutations
Of seduction and flattery
Designed to deceive
And subdue?

It isn’t just the daily revelation of predatory behavior by public figures and officials. It’s the reality that various permutations of predatory behavior undergird the earliest foundations of our nation.

I’d describe it this way: The subduing and disappearing of some in order to pursue the welfare of a select group that viewed and still view themselves as more entitled than others.

Layer upon layer. Decade after decade. And now we’ve come to this juncture in our history without a clear understanding of how we got here, and how many were and still are subdued and disappeared. Buried beneath mountains of inspiring proclamations, and promises not kept.

So what am I doing about it? Besides writing, I’m reading. Today I’m focused on books that invite me to open my mind and my heart. Not simply to what happened when our country was founded, but what’s still happening today. Unrecorded, unexamined, and unacknowledged.

My newest book is Sing, Unburied, Sing, written by Jesmyn Ward. I’m also reading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. One painful chapter at a time.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 29 November 2017
Photo of Great Dismal Swamp found at smithsonianmag.com
The swamp, located in Virginia and North Carolina, once served as a refuge for Native Americans and fugitive slaves.