The River’s Tale

You took our sons and daughters in dark days gone by;

Fathers watch in silent dignity, as mothers wail and cry.

They called it emigration, but we just called it pain,

As the river took our life’s blood, to a place without a name.

 

Why did you bring soldiers in their gunships from the war?

Stopping off in our town to take our girls to lands afar.

Just more emigration, dressed up in another name;

More blood ebbing from our land – different yet the same.

 

Somehow your magnetic forces draw troubled minds into the deep?

Keeping them there for so long, as families frantically search and worry and weep.

They're gone forever, yet you still flow from source to mouth and ebb from tide to tide

Can you help us, can you warn us, to stop the scourge of suicide?

 

So, flow on wise old river, tell your tale to us some day,

About days when ones of our town were forced to go away.

 

And look how you divide us, nature’s beauty but man’s beast;

The east bank looking westward and the west bank looking east.

Bridges cross your troubled waters, but some hearts remain so cold;

Holding history in your depths, just like in days of old.

 

Looking out I see the changes, as you go to meet the sea;

Boats just messing on the river, not a threat to you or me.

Peaceful waters save our children from a future of exile;

Cooling waters, uniting people, seeing hatred reconcile.

 

Now a peace bridge spans your banks, reaching out to both sides;

Offering harmony to a city, instead of division and lost lives.

Still work to do but we will get there, and we will follow as you flow;

Telling your tale to future generations, because only you really know.

 

So, flow on wise old river, tell your tale to us some day;

About days when our sons and daughters stood up and had their say.