February 24, 2017

A Refugee’s Story. {Poem}

I stopped counting the sleepless nights.
My hands upon my daughter’s ears,
As I sang softly to calm her fears,
Praying she’ll ignore the smoldering lights.

She’s seen so much for a little girl—
The carnage has stolen her childhood.
She sat on the ground where our home once stood
And brushed dirt and debris from her dark curls.

My heart aches.
She looks to me for hope
Of a better life and an ending to her strife,
Coming from the “Land of the Free.”

For 18 months, we were tested—
So much to do for a chance to be admitted,
Observed, interviewed and fingerprinted.
We happily complied with everything requested.

We dreamed of the lady holding a torch,
Who would light the way for our new path,
Who would help us escape the wrath,
And lead us to a new front porch.

Our promised day finally arrived—
We entered the airport with empty hands,
Leaving everything behind with our suffering friends.
I assured my little one that we would not be deprived.

We sat for hours in our very best rags,
Hoping Ms. Liberty would find us polite,
Too excited to notice we’d missed our flight,
Until a man asked us if we had any bags.

He led the two of us to a private room.
With a stern face, he began to explain—
An American leader just made a big change,
And our flight to freedom was doomed.

But we did everything you asked!
How can we prove what’s in our hearts?
Please! At least take my child’s hand?
We took every test, and you said we passed.

Still, we were told that we must depart.
Ignored. Denied. Forgotten. Banned.



Author: Mandi Fields

Image: Flickr/David Ohmer

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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Mandi Fields

Mandi Fields is a lover of family, dogs, wine and civil liberties. As a shy child, the pen and paper was her only voice. But as an adult, she proudly shouts her words to the world as she writes them down. She is a graduate of Montreat College in Black Mountain, North Carolina with B.A. degrees in both Elementary Education and Creative Writing. Since graduation, Mandi has been a teacher, a cashier, janitor, customer service representative, a door-to-door saleswoman and a title clerk. But she has always been a writer. While Mandi has published a short autobiography titled “Embracing the Underdog,” she continues to write personal memoirs, short stories, poetry and political essays. The primary purpose of her work is to encourage self-acceptance, unveil the strengths of her weakest characters and to demonstrate resistance to monsters in all forms. Mandi currently resides in Knoxville, TN with her beautiful wife, Brittany and their two perfect dogs, Riptide and Patch. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.