Edging closer
to a border
than you thought
you would or could.

Fear inside
rising slowly
about how it 
might be necessary
or even exciting
to make this move
you swore you could
never make.

That is no
promised land
on the other side,
and you know it.

Yet you are standing
closer to the border
than you ever have
looking toward
the grey-green of
those far hills.

You imagine one day
having gained
enough comfort
to go trekking
carefree through those hills
with a basket
of good cheese
and bread, perhaps 
wine for the end
of the journey.

You take a step
not over,
but toward. 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

3 responses to “Emigration

  • Léa

    I can understand your father’s feelings more than you might imagine. I grew up near one of the old Indian Schools in southern CA. Being a latch key kid, it was one of my duties to keep an eye on the boys who would come to do our yard work. They were emaciated and tense but never unkind and excellent workers despite their youth. Eventually, I found myself living in the midwest near the Trail of Tears. I burned with anger as I saw the school staff single out the native children in front of the others. I also worked in a hospital there and had experience caring for patients who suffered from the treatment of White folks. Explore your options and follow your heart. I wish you all the best.

  • Léa

    Perhaps I wasn’t smart enough to be afraid. Everyone said I was crazy and I wouldn’t stay. I couldn’t sell my house in my native California fast enough, and getting to France, I kept wishing the plane would go faster. Some of us must stay and some of us must leave. I always ached to go, and I knew I belonged in Europe. The country came later, as I did my research. In October, it will be fifteen years and there have been no regrets. I love learning new things and it serves me well. Tony, thank you for the poem. I enjoyed it very much. For some of us, the grass is greener…

    • Tony Brown

      I have a LOT of poet/artist friends who either have left or are planning to shortly. I don’t know if i could. Part of it is knowing my father would have been pissed about any Native getting run off their land by White folks, but…I’m not him, either.

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