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Poem: Huddled Masses


They flee
because they are forced
They did not choose
to have bombs dropping on their door
They do no want
to live on a hostile foreign shore.

They run
with what is precious
in aching arms
frightened children crying for food
They would rather
be anywhere than in their homes.

We here
casually watch them
like swarming ants
afraid to share our warm comforts;
“not my problem!”
forgetting the words etched offshore:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The words reshaped for our store-time romp
and shopping trips “Give me your deals, and more,
We’re huddled shoppers yearning for cheap goods,
Those wretched products imported from foreign shore.
Send these, consumers, tempest-tost to shop,
We have greeters beside the exit door!”

They die
in small leaky boats
hungry and cold
while we indulge in thankful feast;
“turn off Fox news!”
pass the only turkey that matters.

We bar
the harbors and gates
barricade us
in shopping malls and big-box stores
for black Friday
and the best prices of the year.

They hope
for better lives and
the warm silence
of landing in a safe harbor
for Friday prayers
without any bullets and blood.

We give
loud thanks for our own
safe delusions
free delivery with each purchase
filling our homes
with dreams we never knew we needed.

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11 responses

  1. Have you considered sending this wonderful poem to Peter Notehelfer for his “A Voice for the Voiceless” collection? He is still looking for entries….

    https://notehelfer.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/a-voice-for-the-voiceless-a-poetry-challenge/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no idea! Thank you.

      Like

  2. […] Original Poem is here – please visit and leave a comment. https://merlinspielen.com/2015/11/19/poem-huddled-masses/ […]

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on merlinspielen and commented:

    A year has past and it seems nothing really changes – and sometimes it even seems to move backwards in time and space.

    Here is my US Thanksgiving post revisited. Still one of my better poems.

    Like

  4. Needed to be said, Stephen. Perfect rebuke.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just trying to do my little part using the only tools I have – my words. Here is hoping my words make one person stop and think 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautiful. My favorite one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very kind with your words! Appreciate the read and you taking the time to share your thoughts on my poem.

      Like

      1. Well, your timing is right and I think that should touch the hearts of all Americans and people all over the world. It’s another reminder of all that we have and how we need to share our blessings with everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We forget so quickly the how and why of our own immigration to this “new world”. Hoping that as Thanksgiving nears and the Holidays that follow warm our hearts – we remember the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

        Liked by 1 person

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