Amici, friends, immigrants,
welcome to the land of broken hearts.
Your heart is – for different reasons,
or the same as mine – broken.
Did you disembark with a bag
full of clothes, papers and dreams?
Did you leave your family, friends
and part of yourself behind? I did.
Did you run into a wall
of discrimination? I did. Is your
accent an impediment to a job
you’re qualified for? Mine is, still.
Sins of my ancestors are recounted
to me. We immigrants, refugees
are like seeds spread by the wind
and dropped in fertile lands.
We become tempered, resilient
civilian soldiers for the common good
militating under a new flag.
Another heart grows in us,
working at minimum wages, or less.
Our job isn’t an important one
but “well done” is important. All in all
our destiny was, is a benevolent one.
Many perish in deserts, seas, wars.
In the process we get wiser, hopeful.
Quoting George Santayana,
also an immigrant,
“It was a cloudy day, but brightening…”
Diego De Leo