No Word For Wall

The Tohono O’odham people have no word for “wall.”

Native lands in geopolitical purgatory,

Half Arizonan, half Sonoran.

A nation with no sovereignty.

The Mohawk live with one foot in Canada

And one in the United States

(note oxymoron to use later as classroom example).

The Seto people are Estonian,

Or Russian,

Or Estonian –

Depending on street address

Or school district

Or maybe just accident of birth.

Africa and the Middle East –

Ancient tribes, too many to count it seems,

Sliced and diced and filleted

Into starter kit nations –

Just add war.

How far back does it go?

Did the ancient Judeans or Eqyptians or Sumerians

Conquer and divide

In this same way?

Is it just the way humans are?


Maybe not.

The Tohono O’odham people have no word for “wall.”

What 9/11 Didn’t Take

There will be a lot of remembrances of September 11, 2001, taking place today.  I won’t bore you with my personal memories when I know you have your own.  But, after the shared horror and devastation of 10 years ago, I will tell you this:

I still believe that war is not the answer.

I still believe that love is stronger than fear.

I still believe that an open hand is stronger than a clenched fist.

I still believe that a country that welcomes others to her shores is better for it.

I still believe that religious diversity and tolerance must be a part of a truly democratic nation.

I still believe that people are basically good at heart.

I still believe that the Osama bin Ladens of the world are the aberrations.

I still believe that a “War on ____________” breeds more ___________.

I still believe that retaliation never brings closure.

I still believe that kids and schools and communities are more worthy of our time, attention, and money than are bombs and guns and political posturing.

I still believe in liberty and justice for all.