My feet swing over the edge of the ground,
Past the mud and beyond the grass,
Sliding deep into pristine blue,
The cold overwhelming and startling.
I lift my head as I stare across the way,
Noting the deep and heavy chasm,
The incredible schism, the impenetrable depths
That mark this grand river.
My feet are turning blue within the water,
And there across the river I see –
The west bank and child looking at me.
And this little boy can smile and wave,
Could say hello, but all he does is shake his head.
We're both children, of the same age,
Our skin colors similar, our hair coated in the same
Yellow desert dust, but one difference shines.
Inside, that's where my soul is, so my mother says,
Pointing right where my heart ticks away moments,
Beating with life and with passion.
And fight for that life, because it's your own,
It's only yours; don't let anyone take it away from you.
There's the single difference between me and that child,
For we are both god-fearing folk,
But when our eyes meet he looks away.
He'll go back away from the bank, deep into the strip,
Feet bare and dirtied, until he finds his home.
He'll scavenge for food or fuel, digging in dirt
And rubble just to breathe for one more moment,
So that his heart may beat for one more day.
He'll watch his older brothers fight,
His mother and father complain,
And this way, he'll dig at the side of the river.
And I, on my own side, will dig as well,
Shoving piles of dirt into the swirling water
And letting them sink far away.
We'll never be so close again, I know,
That little boy and I, not as we grow.
The river widens, gently spinning through the land.
And we, the future, sit by the banks across the other,
Unwilling or incapable of giving a helping hand.
Possible title - West