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To the Others

You once smiled a friendly smile,

Said we were kin to one another,

Thus with guile for a short while

Became to me a brother.

Then you swamped my way of gladness,

Took my children from my side,

Snapped shut the law book, oh my sadness

At Yirrakalas’ plea denied.

So, I remember Lake George hills,

The thin stick bones of people.

Sudden death, and greed that kills,

That gave you church and steeple.

I cry again for Warrarra men,

Gone from kith and kind,

And I wondered when I would find a pen

To probe your freckled mind.

I mourned again for the Murray tribe,

Gone too without a trace.

I thought of the soldier’s diatribe,

The smile on the governor’s face.

You murdered me with rope, with gun

The massacre of my enclave,

You buried me deep on McLarty’s run

Flung into a common grave.

You propped me up with Christ, red tape,

Tobacco, grog and fears,

Then disease and lordly rape

Through the brutish years.

Now you primly say you’re justified,

And sing of a nation’s glory,

But I think of a people crucified -

The real Australian story.

By Jack Davis

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