When the visionary told you, Man is not a tree, you took note. The punchline had to do with the whole country up and moving every few years. Out of one town, into another––given the means, which were a significant factor. You considered reasons. Why the impulse to cut and run; to fly, stop, land?
Meanwhile, you could not––would not, stop thinking of the child who couldn’t flee, who didn’t make it. You refused coexistence with the mental calculations that allowed the peace of some to be secured by the occupation of others.
It is a fundamental need, you said, basic as shelter, food. For sanctuary, you said. Because man is not a tree.
Adapted from June Jordan’s 1989 essay, “Finding the Way Home.”