By Claire G Coleman
~ For Harold Thomas—Designer of the Aboriginal Flag
Forever in my blood, etched bleeding into my flesh
I remember when you wept red; the pain
Little more than an itch;
Wept, darker red than the scarlet of the ink
Without you, flag, my skin is slick, too pale
People might not know who I am
Red, yellow, black
My skin forever, flag.
The yellow, the sun, is fading
The red, the ground, the black, I
Still strong, the bloodlines.
Someone once said, ‘wow, that’s committed’.
Someone once said, ‘you could pass as white’.
A blackfella once said, ‘welcome to my Country sister’
He saw my blackfella flag first
He saw my Noongar face after.
I wear a flag
I have it needle-stuck and inked
Up in my skin
My skin is a flag
Without the ink
Not flagged enough.
I say to them, ‘this flag is my identity’
I say to them, ‘this ink forever’.
I say to them, ‘I will die before
I lay down my flag’.