This would’ve been an essay but there is an abundance of political commentary out there. So I deleted my 1000+ word piece and wrote the following:
There is too much noise
for a small voice to be heard;
too much anger and bitterness
Too much division
for feelings of empathy
What do you do
when you are caught in a crossfire of accusations
and suffer the consequences
of a decision you weren’t allowed to make?
I am choosing to heed
words of wisdom
Be calm. Be still. Move on.
Often emotions don’t follow
and things fall apart
and it all seems pointless.
In the past few days,
I have felt anger
and above all
It may not be for everyone
But even with emotions rattled
and the crushing uncertainty…
Instead of casting blame,
I am choosing to look for wisdom.
I swim in the Mediterranean on a sunny day
its waters are warm
pleasantly, they rock me to and fro–
I lie on my back,
basking in the sunshine,
soaking up the experience
of swimming in this
expanse of water.
Miles away others lie face down
after their Herculean strife to
make it to this continent
in the pursuit of a dream.
Europe, you have become my home
but when this happens I am reminded
that I am an unwanted presence.
Je suis une migrante
And if it weren’t for a piece of paper:
I’d be un sin papeles
a target for unlimited detention
Today I am just another person
swimming in the Med
I travel across the Continent
without thinking of fences
without fearing La Guardia
or the Home Office
But there was a time
when Dutch police
seemed intimidating to a gut-wrenching degree
And there are times when newspaper articles,
government campaigns and uninformed opinions
remind me that I don’t belong.
But it is much bigger than I am.
I wonder if I would still be human
were I trying to jump the fence in Melilla
or on a dinghy on my way to Lampedusa.
What does it take to belong?
What does it take to be seen?
Not as a victim or part of a crisis,
not as a number, not as a burden…
but as a person.