When I was eight years old, in 1992
I first learned about Christopher Columbus
and I sang along with my class
“In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue”
and we drew pictures of him
and we had a party to celebrate
the 500th anniversary
Ten years later, I graduated from high school
and I joined Columbus
and his crew
and it was such an honor
to sail around the world with him
finding new places to discover.
I drank away what little money I earned
but I believed so much in Columbus
and so much in what we were doing
that the money didn’t matter,
God was on our side!
Some people got a lot of the gold
that we brought home
but I felt blessed to even be a part of the voyage.
It was my duty.
Even after I left the great explorers crew
I happily helped pay for his voyages
as he sailed off to discover new lands.
After spending some time
reflecting on the voyages
that I took part in
I realized that,
though I have two eyes
I had failed to see
of the people
in the places we ‘discovered’
in the places we invaded
these places we terrorized
and pillaged for gold
and for human beings.
Though I can unfortunately
the song that I learned
as a youth
about Columbus sailing the ocean blue,
my support for Columbus
and his voyages
and, though I cannot undo
the things I’ve done
if I ever pick up a weapon again
I will be fighting alongside the Taino
not Columbus and his men.