A Brave and Startling Truth 
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
 When we come to it Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon Hanging as eternal beauty In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon Kindled into delicious color By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor, Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores 
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
 When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.
 ~Maya Angelou


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