Human Migration

Human Migration March 8, 2010

They say we began before we could

speak, that whether running from some

woolly mammoth or squinting to see into

the sun, we stood erect and began to search.

They say this was a million years ago. Some-

where in Africa, as the long wind with a

thousand scents swept through the high

grass. What they don’t say is that it’s all

been one nameless soul using many lives

in one endless search. It’s been forty thou-

sand generations, skin upon skin carrying

the one soul as far as each could. Following

the call of animals into the interior. Then

drawn into the desert by sand and wind. Then

one of us believed it was north, another west,

another east. And so we split and each was less

for giving up that Oneness. And so we died and

were born; thinking we were beginning our own

search for gold, for love, for meaning, for silence.

But this is how the one soul keeps us going, by

imbuing each of its skins with a guise of special-

ness along the way. So Europe and Asia and

Australia were settled. Like ant hills built

around a hope for buried sugar. And the one

soul kept us moving. By now the movement

alone gave it peace. And closer to our own

time, only forty generations back, the quiet

ones began a slow journey from Japan across

the Bering Straits and down North America.

At each clearing some settled while the restless

kept on. Down the Pacific to South America

where the child of a child met the child of

a child who’d come the other way from

Europe through the New World down the

Atlantic to this small town along the coast

of Chile. And sensing something ancient

and unfinished in each other, they married

and had a child who, once old enough to

walk, stared into the sun and began

to search.


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  • This is a wonderful poem!

    I have been reading your “Surviving Has Made Me Crazy”. I find it difficult to put down.