21 July 2010

reflections on our tour of morro de providencia July 13

one man dead, 17 bullet holes, cuts all over
no longer innocent until proven guilty
is this whole neighborhood guilty?
of: poverty? unemployment? rage?
or perhaps guilty of:
beauty in the midst of horror
of strength during tragedy
of hope when all else fails

a little girl squeezes past gringos
smiling and curious, determined
she needs a new book
her old one is many times read
the community center with the art on the walls
this is the place for riches like
books, mentors, art, reading

the boy walking by comes for a hug
to remind the photographer of his ideas
grand schemes for children in the morro
knowing, searching, planning for the future

kites flying high overhead,
attached to earth only by thin string held by boys of all ages
a toddler's embrace
a baby's smiles

the Spirit all around
here in hostility, misery, poverty, terror
here in joy, hope, strength, community, love, laughter
here in pride of samba's birth
here in art as resistance
subtle un-spoken stance
declaring no more oppression, corruption, abduction
demanding yes to memorializing three boys killed,
to rebuilding the future,
to living free and in peace

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