Fascination with the Other

Reading the great classics,
of western canon, Europeans
for whom the jungles of
america and africa were
but fables.

And I see in their writings,
the lush rainforests adventurous
protagonists brave with machetes,
facing jaguars and undiscovered
deadly insects.

But it makes me wonder, as I
walk through those fabled jungles
of my birth country, how to me
the temperate climates seem so
much more magical.

Fabled foxes, wolves, trees
whose leaves die during fall,
wild lavenders, strawberries,
the edelweiss.

Snow in the winter.

How much more splendorous,
secretive, mythical! All
those things I’ve never seen.

I’ve seen capybaras lazing
about near a river on my way
to work, I’ve seen anteaters
and rainbow-colored butterflies.

Magical as they might seem to
those whom have yet to see them.
I’ve seen it all, so many times,
this tropical rondo, I can’t
relate to the fascination at all.

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