PSPoem

"The Encomienda System-Through the Eyes of the Natives," Tejal Desai, 10th Grade, Townsend Harris High School

A storm was coming

Towards the islands of the Caribbean,

And we all knew

 Our lives would never be the same.

 

There once were these foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.

 

We were nothing more than laborers

To those heartless creatures;

They knew nothing more

Than to command

 

These were the foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.

 

"Let them work" they would say,

As if we were machines.

There was no one to care for our sunburned skin

And no one to nurse our blisters from the field.

 

Because these were the foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.

 

They were merciless animals,

 All proud and pompous.

And in the name of creating order,

They appointed pointless titles to keep us suppressed.

 

These were the foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.

 

They brought sweet sugar cane

From distant countries,

But who knew something so sweet could be so poisonous,

For the rest of us natives.

 

Because these were the foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.

 

Hunting our gold and enslaving our people,

Seemed the least of our problems

When deadly diseases were rampant

And our islands depopulating. 

 

And it was from these foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.

 

Because of their greed

And their unconcern,

We were history and so the fields remained empty,

But they were soon to be filled with new machines…

 

All because these were the foreigners on our land,

Thinking slaves and sugar went hand in hand.