Alf Taylor (Retrieved from 'Rimfire: Poetry from Aboriginal Australia')
After prayers at night I go to bed
lying awake with memories in my head.
I can still see my mother kneeling on the ground
sobbing, Don't take my child, I want him around,
When the Native Welfare came and took me away.
Even now at times I still cry inwards and say
I belong to a tribe, honest and just,
not a religion, we live by a must.
Not in a mission, but I'd rather be
hugging my mother, sitting on her warm bended knees.
For one day I'd like to tell the world
how the missionaries put my brain in a whirl.
I tried my best to play along with their rules
praying and praying and going to school.
Being a blackfella was my only tool,
doing things for Jesus and keeping my cool.
I know one day I'll be free,
free from religion and free from rules.
Free to make up my own mind and free to be cool
but I know the damage has already been done
as I see myself lying drunk in the hot morning sun.