Old Into New

This poem was submitted by Lydia Cwalina to our 2020 Europe Week Contest. Lydia Cwalina is a K-12 student in Pennsylvania.

Europe lays like an old quilt
Sewn by grandmas and grandpas
Using the best of the little they had
Bought with blood, sweat, and tears
Taking a while to sew together
Hoping for good for the future

Some areas are worn and patched over
Others are interwoven to each other
And like a grandparent covering a child that wants it or not
It attempts to warm the world

Its history and culture reach every crevice
Covering the world’s heart with democracy
Brains are full of education and philosophy
Ears and eyes are taking in music and art
While bellies are happy with food

But like an old quilt there are holes
The bad parts of colonialism chills to the bone
Cultural imperialism, slavery and exploitation
Leaving shivers still today

Still like an old quilt it sits
Here on the couch of the world’s main living room
Passed down and unable to be thrown out

Hopefully like an old quilt
We can clean old areas and patch all the holes
So that one day each piece will be beautiful on their own
And together make a newer quilt that only warms

This post has been created as part of CES’ 2020 Virtual Europe Week. The Center for European Studies takes no institutional positions. All views represented within the post are the author’s own. Visit the Europe Week 2020 page for details about our contest, events, and more.