Pathways through Lent

Immigrant Child

I see her standing alone in the crowded room.
Her back is pressed hard against the wall
As if reaching for support and assurance.
Her arms are clutching her dearest possession
A fine doll dressed in blue organza brought by her father
From some strange far away place called “America.”

An immigrant family…

Her darting eyes follow the threatening activity
As strangers are happily shopping for bargains.
The din of the noisy chatter escalates her anxiety.
A woman approaches her and asks if the doll is also for sale.
She opens her mouth to answer but the sound is frozen in her throat!

Dreams of a better life…

She frantically searches the room for her parents
And sees them eagerly engaged in conversation and oddly happy!
People are beginning to depart taking furniture and paintings with them
Leaving the room nearly empty and void of its former appeal.

Away from a country…

Who is that slender frightened child looking so familiar?
Where in the past have we met before?
Oh, yes of course, now I can clearly see.
That fragile immigrant child is a long ago me!

Fraught with war and strife!

-Janet Helgert

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