A page from my great grandmother's Peerless Atlas of the World depicting flags of the nations (from 1894)



The last pink fingers of the sun

Stroke the mountaintops and 

Send the clouds 

Like fiery waves 

In a sea of lavender and new stars


Meanwhile the flag flies tall 

On its metal spike 

A giant finger raised in defiance 

To the grandeur of earth

Claiming that this land is our land 

And in so doing 

Proclaiming that this land 

Does not belong to someone else


Is the sky less beautiful as it hangs 

Over flags of different stripes?


Is the land less sacred

Under another people's delusions

Of what can be owned

Or claimed?


Does the earth even know

That we have drawn her differently

In our little books of maps?