Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday's Poetry: "Nothing Less than Heroic"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Today's poem, "Nothing Less than Heroic" is by Ryan Nguyen of Massachusetts and was first published as part of an editorial in the New York Times.  It serves to remind us, on the eve of our Independence Day, that most people who live in America and enjoy its protections and benefits are but a few generations removed from immigrants who came to these shores in desperate circumstances.   Those brave souls who forsook all they knew to take a chance on a better life in a strange place were indeed nothing less than heroic.

Immigrants have always made our country stronger.    America's "greatness" is thwarted by closing doors, burning bridges, building walls, and banning visitors.  We are so much better than that.

Happy Independence Day to all of us, the off-spring of immigrants.

Nothing Less than Heroic
by Ryan Nguyen

They say I am “only a 4-year-old — a refugee”

But my parents said

We are nothing less than heroic

For like Columbus, I can swim

Through international waters

Through the sea, ocean, and endless waves

Like astronauts, I can smile and even sing

Through a dark story

Through threatening, perilous voyages

Like zombies of the world, I can rise

Through scars from working 12-to-14 hour days

Through memories of being rejected, cast out, and shot

The world may proclaim I am “only a refugee”

But I know that we are nothing less than heroic

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