In These Times

I met a man in Nigeria years ago,
an Ibo,
who said he had three hundred relatives
he knew by name.
His wife had just had a baby.
They were going to take it
on foot
to be welcomed and marveled at
by as many of those relatives
as they could find,
even though
there was a war going on.
Wouldn’t you love to have been
such a famous baby?

I wish I could wave a magic wand
this Christmas,
and give every desperately lonesome
and hungry and lost American
man, woman, or child
the love and comfort and support
of an extended family.
Just two people and a babe in the manger,
given a heartless Government,
is no survival scheme.

Kurt Vonnegut, American Christmas Card 2004 

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