There was a river in the rainforest,
dividing land and people into two tribes.
Each tribe assumed in the distant past
there had been only one tribe — theirs,
living on only one side of the river — theirs.
Over the years, their languages had diverged.
A person might shout across the river,
“Have you caught any fish today?”
And the other person would shout back,
“No, the berries are not ripe yet.”
“No, not berries. Fish.”
“Yes, I have two brothers. And you?”
Eventually they just stopped shouting.
In their silence
they would never know what they shared —
Fish, berries, rain, and mud,
Songs and laughter,
Death and sorrow.
Last night I watched a video on the internet
that said the Earth is flat.
It had 200,000 comments; half believed it.
That’s 100,000 people on the other side of the river.
Since we don’t agree on what the words mean,
we cannot even disagree.
Black is white,
up is down,
and all things have become true.