It helps to have lived in a real village
to understand what Marshall McLuhan meant
when he said the whole world had become a Global Village.

As a child I lived in a small town where everyone
knew everybody and you could count on them to be
everywhere even when you didn’t want them to be.

My mother when I started to walk to Kindergarten
told me to never take a ride from strangers.

So she and one of her friends who stopped
to pick me up in the pouring thunderstorm of kiddom
got a great laugh when I refused to get in.

She was at once reassured that I obeyed her
And charmed that I didn’t know my schoolmates mother.

My small town was even smaller than theirs
but villages are always more perfect for children than parents.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.