III Publishing

Try to Forget
(the Philippines, 1899)

a poem by William P. Meyers

Try to forget your victory over the Spanish
Try to forget your hopes for independence
Try to forget your hopes for your children

Try to forget when the great American ships arrived

Try to forget the horror
Try to forget the corpses piled high
Try to forget the hills of bones bleaching in the sun

Your men, the guerillas, hid in the jungle
The American Marines came into the village
Separated out the women
Cut down boys and men with machine gun fire
Conquering a new colony for
The Red, White and Blue.

Try to forget what we did
Try to forget who we are
Try to forget your ancestors
Try to forget the brief taste of freedom

Think of us as your new parents
Think of yourselves as children

We'll help you forget
It won't be in your school books
Feel how kind your white teachers are!

Sleep, brown eyed children, sleep!

Tomorrow, to help you forget
To help you learn the new way
You can cut sugar cane and pineapples
From dawn to dusk

The land is ours now
Try to forget it was once yours

Copyright 2016 by William P. Meyers, all rights reserved