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