It is an honor to even consider crossing the borders of my nation.
So I stand in ridiculous lines and spend months waiting.
I invest and gamble money, tickets and time;
I give up all our my privacy and my resources.
I am hopeful, excited, open, exposed.
I hand over everything, my proofs, my livelihood, my life…
My motives and character are surmised from a crude form
Only to be crushed, rejected. Dejected,
I miss weddings, birthdays, family, school, opportunity,
I depend on still photos…and dream as though I were there
Somehow, I’m deserving of months of planning for things others simply wake up and do.
My book, my judgment, my burden. Because of its cover,
I go home angry; swearing never to grace their offices again.
I am forced to look back at my broken country and remember “there is really no place like home”
I have to improve what I can or make do
But I will never ‘dash’ those embassies money again.
Oh but when my character is deemed bright and my motives genuine,
I am exhilarated because the world awaits.
But though I hold the visa, it isn’t enough.
There is more in store for my leathery green book.
It’s been misunderstood because of its skin.
It will be scorned, belittled, ridiculed because of its color.
I’ve seen it searched, its contents flipped through and x-rayed;
Given ‘special screening’ because of its nationality.
Someone really needs to correctly define ‘random’ selection.
Apparently, there is one book you should judge by its cover.
Green, the color of nature, life, promise; red, the color of fire, blood, rage;
black, the color of doom and death; and blue, …the color of depression. Is this sick humor?
My book, my judgment, my country, my burden.
I scream to the rock for protection but it is slow in response.
In my shame I examine my book
Determinedly, I set out to rewrite its script.
The events that sealed its color have no hold on its content.
My work is set out for me and I am transformed right from page one.
Written circa 2010