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  • Lorraine Johnson

[65] Where Must One Stand

Everyday the wind whistles through the lives of children and elders who walk the city streets of Maputo. And on this one day, not long after the call for peace, a blind man—led by his small son—revealed his open hand to a man and woman sitting outside at a corner café. "Give," said the man to his woman companion. "Give—because the man is hungry—and this will buy his bread." And the woman rose from her seat and handed the note to the open hand.

And I was there, watching from afar. And in the depth of my conscious mind, I wondered, where does one stand to understand the world—must they go to the maize fields, to watch the wind carry so gently the tan, silvered husks while the drum beats to beckon a people to come together? Must they go to the mansions, to see precious stones adorning lives untouched? To the refugee camps where artificial paths, and makeshift structures, create unknown cities not meant to last? To the streets of a modern city, where the gap of the haves and the have-nots forever reveals the uncertainty of humanity's grace? To turn away from a seeing eye—to give or grasp an open hand—from where must one stand—to choose?


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