Theme: Immigration

The Regret of Arrival

There is a difference between
Something that belongs to you and
Something you desperately want to make your own.

You go to someone's land to escape your own
Yearning to enact a nebulous fantasy,
Hoping to realize a dream.

You land at the port in a cloud of snow, fog
Or swirling rain expecting welcome
But find suspicion and superciliousness.

Then once more begrudgingly you become young
Learning to recognize chimerical shadows,
Silhouettes, faces, skin, and smells,

You learn the ropes of new practices,
Traditions, subterfuges, gestures and accents,
Forcing yourself to forget your own.

You collapse inward to expand outside
Making compromises,
And if you are smart, you reach the threshold,

You transform yourself or get transformed
And gingerly feel through the veils of regret
That at last you have arrived.

04-Jul-2010

More By  :  Mukesh Williams

Views: 1440     Comments: 1

Comments on this Poem

Comment A well worked out poem on the theme of regret on arrival.  However, the immigrant is the modern equivalent of the pioneer of old - there is that true grit that overrides albeit truly experienced regret.  What he thrives on are survival principles in an emotional desert: gone the old familiar sights and sounds.  His priorities are focused - to study, to get a job - in the teeth of an unfamiliar culture and its people.  The immigrant is the most industrious element of society - his fulfilment is in work, not being a layabout, since there is nothing for him outside work, as is the case with the indigenous population who might cursorily view  him as a scrounger.  He buries his homesickness in his study or work - sustaining the dream on pure survival principles, and making it; perhaps, inverting the dream to one that sees him return to his old home from time to time for a holiday,  But it is in his children the immigrant can truly claim to have arrived, because they are at home.

R D Ashby
06-Jul-2010 10:10 AM


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