Originally posted on 4/29/2013; original title, “The Unimagined Country.”
country where we let our own blood
into the garden soil to feed it,
where we sing in our own tongues in the front yards
and kneel silently in the back yards
under the open sky, seeking
guidance or a little rain;
country yet to be founded,
already rich and storied,
abandoned and found again and again;
country, not nation, not state;
country, not homeland, not seat of empire.
Country yet to be ours, country
ours to define — country
for us to defend against the poisons
of borders, flags, anthems, suspicions.
When we come to that country
we’ll look into each other’s eyes
and we’ll know what to name it
without a single politician’s speech.
We’ll know how to run it
without a single task force.
We’ll know how to love it
without a single weapon.
We’ll know we’ve truly settled there
when we look into each other’s eyes
and see a neighbor, a cousin,
or a self, no matter what else we see.