Margaret invited us to explore “Immigrant Portraits”. She said, “If you are blessed with a family member’s history of an immigration journey”, write about it. So… I poetized a glimpse into the immigration journey of someone really, really, really close to me.
“In Battle Ink”
Before I met her, I had dreams
that could be seen, tasted, touched
and made true by want and by work…
I dreamed of a home with a phone
and of books of my own;
not just any books, but the best
titles—stories birthed by free minds
that journey out of this world,
tales of lives written in battle ink
that rejects all irrational nos.
Then we met, through the strangeness
of May snow in New York City…
Her torch banished shadows I thought
eternal. She showed me books,
a home and a phone are not dreams,
but necessities. She taught me how to see
through the eyes of a book—the best,
the wisest, the most loyal friend
any thinking girl can have.
After I got to know her, I birthed ideas
that can’t be killed, stolen or bought…
thoughts that are bigger than any dream
the wee notes…
– I migrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States a couple of decades ago. It was early May. My father had told my brother and me, “In May, the weather will be nice enough for shorts.” So, of course, we wore shorts. It snowed. The car broke down just minutes after we left La Guardia Airport. I was freezing, but grinning the grin of a delighted, bookish lunatic whose father had just told her, “You don’t need to spend the whole day in the library, if you don’t want to. Here, they let you take books home.” I will always remember the joy that warmed my heart that wintry spring day. The thought that so many children could be denied that gift, that joy, that warmth… breaks my heart.
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (Artistic Interpretations ~ Immigrant Portraits). Will also link to Prompt Nights (Through the Eyes of My Friend) on Friday.
photo by the intelligent, talented, good-looking (and extremely modest), Rommy Driks