Deborah L. Humphreys

immigrants

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. . .understand the value of their own skin

as border, natural peel of territory

of flesh and bone

a broken shell that sweats and breathes

as some move or are moved again

 

into head winds. strong. whom the powerful

named tinkers for the sound of their metal

belongings along the road. the travelers say: ourselves

alone.  with resolve. refugees with a relief

upon leather of what has not been smooth

 

they stand unaccused but suspect

 

outside/inside

the nation preoccupied

with itself and its properties

fashions the only freedom

to be allowed

as narrow as the first person voice used

in the deposition of desire or dispassionate

hearing of  the history of one

people. struggle communicates the political

geography of fear. exiles. dissidents, the ill

the weak, the sinful, dismas the good

the crusader and/or pilgrim

 

never an easy truth or method to separate

wheat and chaff  brought in from the battlefields

of changing loyalties thrown into the earth

hewn crucible: the test of mettle

or the meltdown of resolve for all

on either side of the walls

in this ever colonial city

 

we wait

esperamos

fanamuid

 

saying out loud our word for

 

saoirse, dochas

freedom, hope

libertad, esperanza. . .