The Beast with No Face

March 17, 2008
By Sarah Lance, Adair Village, OR

Treacherous sirens and frightened voices scream through the black night.
Peri-Urban, a dreaded name that sends fear into everyone’s heart.
Both black and white men that scare even more than the boogeyman.
The beating that forced me to forget my father’s rule.
On the ground begging forgiveness for my color.
A sister curled and screaming with naked fear of a beast.
No protection to give for this sister of mine.
Parents vulnerable to these beasts so terrifying.
Searching for weakness these beasts tear us apart.
No escape from this prison of a home.
Parting parched lips to speak nothing that hasn’t already been said.
No words were spoken, but a silent understanding was said.
At that point I saw my father as small and frail as an old man.
Powerless to protect the family that he once could.
A raw power in the beast to forbid a protection we deserved.
A smile of submission that tells the beast he has won.
With his surrender my father became unrecognizable to me.
Seeing this stranger for the first time.
A fear is in my heart but I will myself not to cry.
There are new feelings that I cannot place.
Those I do not understand.
I know this hate and anger will be etched into my heart until the day I die.
The beasts steal my father with no regard to us.
They leave him naked of his existence.
Who are these black skinned beasts, why are they not like us?
Though our skin is the same, they are not humans, they are not us.
I am in fear of these men, but I am in hate of these beasts.

Now I watch the ones I hate take away the ones like me.
Naked and humiliated our elders are taken from their homes and driven like cattle to a place unknown.
Children cry in fear in their homes, calling for their parents to return.
One beast shoves while another kicks.
A mother is taken from her sobbing infant.
Families being torn apart by beasts with no face to a place with no name.

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