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the immigrant and the exile

The expatriate remains patriotic - loving their country from a distance. Their loyalty does not waver.

The immigrant is a foreigner that works in another country as a result of some form of escape, some desperate act.

The exile does not love their country, and it can be said that their country rejected them.

Which one wakes up homesick?

Which one can shrug off the betrayal, the long shadow of the dream of a better life when it sours and fades?

There are days when  I see no difference between the immigrant and the exile, two sides of the same coin. The expat is a blind romantic, their decisions set as young men and women, their senses dulled to nothing. I have started to understand I am not an expat any more, as I do not love my country. I tolerate it.

tiny movements

A midnight snow, now slush
and the women clicking on high heeled
boots clutching umbrellas
the workers pushing
makeshift, plywood
shovels, and great brown
puddles back and
forth.
Me, clean shaven
working with the lights
off, sipping the first coffee
in a week. Some sweet
bread
and people to call
meetings to hustle to, waving my hands
around, hoping things translate
hoping these guys really have money to spend
not just half-baked questions
like last time.
Ah, remember to take those
vitamins, remember to set the
right time on my watch
remember that some things
get solved by ignoring them
remember that there is nothing
better in the world than
a guitar with new strings, or a
Sunday night lasagne
or the snow that just fell as I
wrote this, as the smell of
a woman's hair, as money found
in pockets of never-worn coats
as my daughter's tiny
movements
as she sleeps.

Comments

brenda said…
Life happens when you're not looking. Just made that up, M. But it seems appropriate. Wooden shovels?? Your fresh snow. I can feel it. and ah yes, hoping clients have money not half baked questions. I live there.

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