the right side of a coin toss
i’m lucky because i’ve never had to jump off a bladed fence. i’ve never had to take a week’s journey on a cargo train, or walk on bare feet for days without promise or guaranteed the path beneath me is leading anywhere. i’ve never been bought, used, sold and resold. i’ve never had to swim for my life. i’ve never kissed my loved ones goodbye knowing it would be the last time i see them. i’ve never crossed from shore to boat, in a real leap of faith, from impossible present, to only perhaps future. i’ve never had to smuggle, cheat, lie, pray, hope, sell my dignity at border control, so as to be let through.
i’ve never had to explain my child that this big, scratchy, orange thing i am sliding over her head is now more important to her life than everything we left behind.
i’ve never been on board of a boat knowing this is where my heart may take its last beat, my lungs their last breath, my life its last chance.
i’m lucky, but that’s all it is — luck. the right side of a coin toss. it all sounds so trivial, so immensely unfair, so unimaginably stupid: place of birth, nationality, country of origin, flags, borders, passports, customs, homeland security, officers, dogs, guns, fear, lies, lies, lies,
taken lives. too many.
is this what we call progress?
we have failed.
i’m not off the hook. sometimes i wonder, how can we go on our lives as though nothing is happening? as though we are entitled to the lives we have?yet… yet all i do is write about it. nothing more…
perhaps someday i’ll be brave enough.