Australian Poetry Slam 2018 Victorian final – winner, wāni Le Frére


I came across this poem about silence It was written by a man who decided that he would no longer speak unless what he had to say was nothing but the complete and utter truth So I decided to follow suit I’m so grateful to all those men who came before me for teaching me to be
strong, to keep my back straight, hands ready eyes faced forward in the man’s
direction you showed me what it took to … so I want to thank you for always
standing right by my … I can’t wait till that day when I’m able to have a son because out of all the things I’ve been taught the first thing I’ll teach him are
all the ways of … and he’ll know exactly how it feels to have all of his father’s … because I now know what it means to be a real … To that girl from 5th grade who
said you’d be cute for a black guy if only you weren’t a monkey thank you for reminding me that I was still less than human but no longer needed to be labeled
your property in order for you to own me you made it so much easier to wake up
every morning because of you I … and I’ve spent years trying to peel away at the internalised … and I’m still trying to get over it To my brother Tora when you
asked me if we were brothers I should have told you that I’m your
keeper to remind you that I … but I was still learning to … myself so when they
loosened that noose loose from your neck I shouldn’t have called you selfish or
crazy instead I should have said sorry Just because depression and suicide was
something that I never … so I couldn’t ever project the reflection of … I miss you I don’t speak a lot about love because I’ve spent my whole life trying to … and I’m still learning Dad [gasp] …

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