• The Organic Poet

They Didn’t Tell Me @Hedreich

Fourscore and 7 years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation.

They told me all about it but they didn’t tell me that there were already 600 nations here: 60 million people here for centuries that were forcibly removed. Choctaw, Sioux, Caddo, Powhatan, taken, forced from their lands to make way for this Great New Nation, a nation that would be a whole lot greater if we would reckon with the blood on our hands.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, even as my people were bound in chains picking cotton on the land taken from the first Americans, the nations of people who died as they were marched West, away from the land they knew, and then further West as Gold was discovered.

They told me to learn those words, They told me all about it but they didn’t tell me but they didn’t tell me that equality did not extend to human beings forced to work for, cook for, nurse for and even bear children for people who bought and sold them as chattel. They didn’t tell me about rape culture in the colonial days and they didn’t tell me that the Atlantic Slave Trade was a nice whitewashed phrase for kidnapping, human trafficking, murder and child rape.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. They told me to learn those words. They forgot to tell me that all did not include me.

From #smallbites episode 18

Hedreich's Poet of The Month biography

Three words that define you?

Tenacious, creative, funny.

Favourite song and why?

The #SmallBites intro music. It brings together my family's musical legacy (@swisschrisonbass is the 5th generation of musicians), my son's talent as a bassist, producer and entrepreneur (yes, I paid him), and my passion for advocacy and racial/cultural equity in education.

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is music in words.

What is your objective as a poet?

To express myself lyrically, succinctly, to strike a deeper note than I could with prose alone.

If you could make a phone call to the teenage you, what message would you give?

You will experience great loss and travel your path mostly alone. But you will have a lifetime of joy with those you meet along the way. Don't be afraid, you'll learn, you will survive and your tears will nourish the earth so that others may grow.

What are you most proud of as a poet?

The award that I won in 5th grade and episode 18 of #SmallBites.

Who is your role model and why?

My swisster and friend Margi. She has dealt with health challenges and chronic pain for years but her spirit and smile remain light. She is an encourager and a testament to what a grateful heart can do.

If you could offer any advice to a poet just getting started, what would it be and why?

Write. Then reduce your word count by a third. Best advice I was ever given.

Links to your work hedreich.com.


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