They Took Our Land
They took my family’s land
It was unjust from the start.
My Tata* couldn’t speak English
And he never recovered from a broken heart.
He helped the Americans during World War II
Sacrificing himself and my Nana*
He wanted to break free
From the cruel Japanese occupation
And thus trusted the American soldiers
Without a second thought.
He was given $50 for his land.
But why did he accept this when he didn’t understand?
The piece of paper he signed was not legal in my eyes
For he signed a paper not knowing what it contained.
He trusted the government and had died in vain.
Someday Tata you will see
Your land will return to the rightful family.
And when it does return to us it won’t sit useless;
It will be cultivated and taken care of with much love.
© mnrivera and ltgumataotao
Source: Our Native Daughters’ Reflection of Guam and Its People by Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao