Guahibo Indian
by Betty Blair

From Azerbaijan International, Spring 2004 (AI 12.1)
This magazine which contains the English translations of 26 Azerbaijani writers may be ordered at -

(Summer 2003, remembering the Guahibo Indians of Corocita, Columbia, from August 1981)

Once I met a man
Sun-shriveled, short and stooped
In the jungles,
Deep jungles of Colombia
So remote-
It took two days walking,
Just to reach the nearest road.

This simple, brown-skinned man
Had no birth certificate.
He didn't even know how old he was.
We figured-maybe 60
From the generations of children,
Grandchildren and great grandchildren
He had fathered.

Me, so naive and proud
Boasted in front of him-
This man who sat on a bench
In front of a hut with its palm-thatched roof
And dirt floor.
"I've traveled 25 countries," I bragged.
He, in all sincerity, looked at me and asked so simply,
So profoundly:
"Did you find what you were looking for?"

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