Swans Commentary » swans.com April 24, 2006  



The Refugee


by Michael Doliner





(Swans - April 24, 2006)  
Our future is dark. We see no light.

You will go on, but we must stay here.

All this, soon your past, will not pass for us.

Our journey ends, we've no more to do.

We listen and look as the wind moves the grass.

You in your life can never know

What we endure in the sameness of days,

What we can see in that clump over there

Collecting dust in familiar ways.


A few bloody nights brought us to this tent.

Of what happened then you have asked me to speak.

My daughter was lost, one son crippled, one dead.

The baby -- of the baby let nothing be said.

It's all in the wind, in the grass, in the tent.

We ran through the night until we came here.

We've nothing but rags, and our nothing they left.

Where our world ends you now sojourn.


Soon in your rooms you will contemplate us

And try to retell just what you saw here.

In words on your screen you will try to describe

How my eyes fall again on the same blade of grass.

Fall again, and again and forever again,

And how we now know this will not ever end.


If you can't write you will pour yourself tea,

Recast your idea in livelier words,

And try to recapture just what it is

That with your busy hands you just can't apprehend.


I see you now know to not ask me more.

Impertinent words are all you can speak.

Your exit discredits all you might say.

Though I live in a tent in the gathering dust

I am a clear pool those with sense don't disturb.

Look on if you must. Try to see into me.

But each word from you is like a thrown stone

Whose ripples disrupt the still of the night

Breaking the surface our life has become.

We are here, and we know this is all that will be.

Our future is dark. We see no light.


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Internal Resources



About the Author

Michael Doliner has taught at Valparaiso University and Ithaca College. He lives with his family in Ithaca, N.Y.



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Michael Doliner 2006. All rights reserved.


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/mdolin14.html
Published April 24, 2006