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Morro da Favela

March 23, 2012

Morro da Favela – the mountain where the bitter shrub grows

In the forests beyond Rio

Newly free slaves not yet to grace equitable society

Finding work and homes proved difficult.

They in Leblon with runaway slaves

Joined a quilombo

Droughts of the 1870s misplaced others and then

Economic devastation by sugar decline.

So the poor became more dispossessed,

Looked for the antichrist to bring repair,

The wandering Antonio the counsellor brings hope

But, displeasure for the authorities.

Ten thousand dwell enraged in Canudos

Destruction of republic feared

From Rio the federal force took Canudos by storm

Massacred every man, woman and child

Brutally erased from memory,

The settlement

Jubilant the soldiers and the families return

To Rio and a promised hero’s home.

Where the government cruelly negated the command

On a hillside Morro da Providencia

The avenged camped

Near a hardy shrub twisted to shelter.

The plant’s bitter irritation offers hope.

Favela offers protection for the defenceless souls

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