“Winter trees on a north coast headland
That drops into Murlough bay
Asking mystical questions
With the serenity of their gentle sway
And I’m fascinated by the mystery
Did God peer down then bending
Pencil sketch them in the cloak of darkness
Or the distraction of the sun descending
They are so skilfully shaped like dancers
So brilliantly and beautifully bent
And I’m sure there ain’t no short cut
But a long slow consistent dent
And what of my life landscape
Do I stand there the shape of intrigue
Evidence of what can’t be seen
Like these winter trees?”
Winter Trees by Steve Stockman
In 2001 I was privileged to spend a few months in Northern Ireland where I heard this poem.
Since then, I’ve returned over and over to this question of where my life’s landscape shows evidence of what can’t be seen.
To abolish white dominance from my internal landscape is like the wind that shapes coastal trees. It’s an internal, unseen work that when done persistently, shows external evidence. It’s this evidence that serves as apology.
Tonight I’m wondering if enough has changed in me to make way for reconciliation with white people I’ve lost along the way?
If not me, then who?
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