Why Are We in Iraq?
by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

I have seen them as Iraqi refugees
as they grapple to learn the new language
I have seen their tears as they recall
the stories of their escape and those
loved ones they behind have left
I have shared their joys as they finally
get hold of the asylum papers which
they, for many years, have waited.

I have seen them too, the other Iraqi refugees
who for many years in asylum centers
must wait as their case is being treated
I have watched their dream to get asylum,
learn the new language and find job slowly,
fading away as smashed candle in the dark.
I have shared their fears and tears
as they get deported and denied
the passport to live in peace.

And you ask me why we are in Iraq
while her own population is like
the scattered herd wandering if ever
they have a country they can return to and rebuild?

Copyright © 2011 - Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
Published: 2/24/11   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem