There Is No They

They come to this country because
they’ve made up their minds. They
keep coming even when we tell them
there’s no room at the inn. They
come to this country a yearning mass,
huddled, wretched refuse doing
whatever they can to escape
their own teeming shores, tired,
poor, homeless and tempest-tossed.

But here, where there should be
lamplight and golden doorways,
there is only more of what they
prayed they’d left behind.
They come to this country and
they keep on coming,
in spite of all that, no matter what.

We all have histories; we all have
parents and grandparents; ancient
ancestors that came here ages ago.

Sadly, most of us have conveniently
forgotten that arrival; forgotten
how we must have looked and sounded
just stepping off the boat; forgotten
how our ways and means must have
seemed to those who were already here;
forgotten how we, too, nearing failure,
starving for success, would have starved
without their help.

Poets And Storytellers United
Writers’ Pantry #70

poets and storytell

13 thoughts on “There Is No They

  1. There have been refugees since the beginning of humankind (or not so kind, as we all know), movement of tribes across the globe, all with their own reasons and terrible stories. The first settlers in the USA needed somewhere safe. You captured all of that in your poem, Ron, which tore at my heart.

  2. Sadly this has happened the world over. It is sad that many well developed countries cant be more generous to those who clearly are worthy of being worthwhile immigrants and not dangerous threats to the nation that have come to.

  3. “No room” is often said, but there is plenty of room. And it seems there is “no room” if they’re knocking at only the one door, the southern one. Would it matter if the door keepers could experience just why they left their homes in the first place? We have no idea what it must be like.

  4. As soon as they speak good English we forget they were they and of course we were they. The most frightening show I’ve seen of of late was PK Dick’s Electric Dreams Netflix episode title Kill All Others.

  5. It is so sad how so many have forgotten what their ancestors looked like, how their treatment as refugees so often was horrid.

  6. This movement of people seeking a fortune is with us from the beginning of times.
    Wish they were happier stories though

    Happy Sunday Ron


  7. Too many have forgotten–my parents came here after WW2–Eastern Europe was a hell hole after the war–they never stopped loving this Country–they were able to survive here–I am not so sure they would have there–

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