All the World

All the world
January 2013

In Lima live nine million people
And all the world.
The long march from Africa,
East and north through Asia,
over the straight to America,
turned South with arrows and fire and seeds.
My cousins walked back down
below the equator again.
Year by year they came,
with hopes and horror, together.
They built the trail that leads, surprisingly,
to Machu Picchu
and beyond.

The other branch
moved quickly north to Europe’s rocky shores,
and steel and guns, and germs.
Their ships sailed to the new world, crossing paths with the pedestrians
who walked around the world.

The family reunion was not a joy.
A bloody clash ensued.
What’s worse, the Europeans brought
the Africans in chains
to work beside the Indians.
There’s so much to say, so little good,
about the braided trails.

By now we have to realize,
the world is big, but it’s only one.
We all have walked the same long road,
and arrived here where we are today.

There’s a long way yet to go.
What path to choose?
What to bring? Who to join?
Step by step, with care,
is all that we can know.

***

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