Emigrant

Starting from the right side
of your continent, if you are looking at 
a map as drawn according to custom,
with North at the top, South at the bottom,
East to the right and West to the left;

starting from your side 
of the continent, if you are thinking of
the land you are on as your own, or at least
as a point of departure toward 
what is not yours, not home, not yet
familiar ground;

starting from the one thing you can trust,
then: start from here, start now. Whatever
direction you choose, now,
start from here and now. Drive or
walk, take a train; stay on land and
refuse flights.  If the way you go
crosses water, take to a boat or a ship,
or wade through if you can. Start

with memory and souvenirs
of this starting place
tucked away in a bag or pocket and
go in whatever direction calls you.

There has to be a better fit somewhere.
There has to be better north, south, 
east or west of here; up, down, right
or left of here.

Travel.  Burn your feet out. Strain your legs
to snapping. Fall down at the end of the day.

Put your ear on the stones underfoot every night
before you sleep and listen for them
to sing a welcome to a here and now
you haven’t felt for a while.  Hum along
until you know the words. Fake
your comfort until you feel it;

until starting from here,
starting now,
once again is something
at least a little like

being home.

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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

2 responses to “Emigrant

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