Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Remember him not as a Slave, but as a Free man

At birth my parents were happy
But we were all hungry
Close to starved
No one rejoiced
When I was young
My body grew
And I was gifted
By fate to be healthy
And I grew large
As another mouth to be fed
At the earliest of ages
I was sent to the fields
So that I might help
I might be dead
If we didn't all try
As I learned to work
My arms grew powerful
My back grew strong
Even if at the setting of the sun
My body tired
We all hungered
But loved too
When Thrace was taken
By the power that was Rome
I jumped at the chance
To serve in the Empire's forces
When I was captured I was sold
I was saved however
Because my owner fed me
My job was to kill
But I was a slave
They taught me to fight
To kill in their death arena
I was not a warrior
I was a beast with a voice
But I had not humanity
Nor choice
I was only fed
And clothed
For my owner's invested value
In my flesh
Every breath I took
Meant I was continuing
To add to his total
Every nick or bruise to my flesh
Meant a possible lower value
In my world
I knew
Free men weren't free
Only rich men were
Money makes you free
When you can buy another man
And make him fight
And I did fight many times
I took lives many lives
Far more than I
Am comfortable
Or listing
Or remembering
Their faces linger
In my dreams
Their cries echo 
When I visit them in Elysium
I will apologize
For sending them there
Instead of freeing them
I plan to be free
I plan to free others
I have to be silent about it
And be like water
Through the cracks
Of a cobblestone court

Make a path without being seen
And do so over time
Without force
And the owner of my flesh
Will not notice
That his slaves who fight
Are gathering together
And making plans
To join hands
With others
The world will remember
Not as slaves
Or as gladiators
But that Spartacus fought
As a free man
And he died
Fighting alive as a free man
And died for a cause
Not for entertainment
Of another
His death meant something
Not nothing
Death before slavery
Freedom before all