My maternal ancestors

faced ages of treachery,

rape, sodomy,

child abuse, lechery

Historic encounters

with hunters,



soldiers galore:

settling the imagined score

A gaggle

of political pawns



treating us to treaties

for our own good

They gifted us with beads,



a litany of lies,

our introduction

to the reservation

These tales


and around

and never stop

When does forgiveness begin?

Fear of forgiveness

is a sign

of seeing ourselves

within the actions

of our enemy

Before they came

we did the same

to other tribes,

sometimes our own,

so enemy actions

are kin to me

Time to let go,

long past time,

those who don’t

don’t grow

Worst offenders

are gone,

time to forgive

and move on

If we cannot forgive the dead

we cannot forgive the living

If we cannot forgive our enemies

we cannot forgive ourselves


© JW Thomas


17 thoughts on “Forgive

  1. Mary Cathleen Clark April 9, 2016 / 3:41 am

    Who would have thought years ago that the US would now be on friendly terms with Japan and Germany? Over time, the worst of enemies can become friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 3:44 am

      That is true, but someone has to be willing to make the first positive step forward. And I hope you noticed I put something in this that you brought up regarding this topic awhile back. It really made sense, my friend, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 3:54 am

        We were talking about the worst offenders to the Native Americans being in the past; so you see where I incorporated that near the end of the piece. And it is true, my friend. And part of that side of my family tree still need to get past the victim mentality; while others have already done it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 9, 2016 / 4:01 am

        A person can choose not to play the role of victim and move on with life. I’ve been amazed by how some people can have horrible things done to them, but get up, throw their shoulders back, and move on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 4:04 am

        Yes, it’s amazing what a different perspective and attitude can do for people when they set their minds and actions toward positives instead of negatives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 9, 2016 / 4:10 am

        I try to keep a positive outlook (though I slip sometimes) instead of dwelling on what may be wrong in my life. A person doesn’t have to look far to see someone worse off. Like the quote that goes something like: I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I saw the man who had no feet.
        I’m sure you’ve heard it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 4:12 am

        Yes, I have. And it’s true. I dealt with that issue as a partially disabled vet, as you well know, my friend. I’m only partially disabled, but I’ve met many worse off than me. It’s a humbling experience.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 9, 2016 / 4:17 am

        And the positive attitude of a soldier–or anyone–who has lost a limb or limbs…straps on a prosthetic and learns to run again. Amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 4:20 am

        The human mind, heart, and spirit can be a very strong force when utilized with a definite purpose or goal.

        Liked by 2 people

      • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 4:25 am

        It can sustain us when the obstacles seem daunting; and keep us on the right course.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Cathleen Clark April 9, 2016 / 4:29 am

        I have a few things to do, then I think I’ll take my sleepy body off to bed. Good night and sweet dreams, JW. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwtatfbc April 9, 2016 / 4:31 am

        Good night and sweet dreams to you as well, Pretty Lady.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. tiffanybeingfree April 18, 2016 / 9:26 am

    To forgive is to free our own hearts of the weight. We often forget this, as we falsely believe that forgiveness means we accept what happened. This is quite beautiful.
    Thank you for your service both in the military and for sharing your wisdom and artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jwtatfbc April 18, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      Thank you again for your insight and response, Tiffany. Forgiveness does indeed take away the power from the negative incident and put it back in your hands.

      Liked by 1 person

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