If we could take the earth
And stretch it out flat, like an atlas
So we could turn the pages
Backward, back to the beginning
When the first men and women
Began to make their history –
We could see
All the times when they staggered
And fell as the earth grew too cold
Or too hot and floods came and violent
Earthquakes and hurricanes
We could see the people
Hunkered down in caves,
Cold, hungry, starving…

But always a group that refused
To give in, and managed to find
Enough food for their children
And the children of children
And so it begins
All over again
Our history of scrounging
Of troubles and pains
And the joy of springtime
Planting and harvest
The pages keep turning
earth spins through the universe
With its cargo of people
Stiff-necked and stubborn
Starting new stories
Over and over again.