“My Grandmother Was a Refugee.” 1/28/17.

Isaac Lunt, JHU:

(This Poem was written by Isaac in direct response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. Today, refugees have already been detained at airports across the nation, where security officers are following Mr. Trump’s orders.)

Mr. Trump, my grandmother was a hidden child in Poland.

Mr. Trump, my grandmother’s mother was killed in Auschwitz, her body lost among the many others. Mr. Trump, my grandmother immigrated to the United States when she was only a teenager.

Mr. Trump, my grandmother was a refugee.

On Friday—a day of remembrance of the horrors of the Holocaust—you raised our nation’s blood-stained flag and tied it in a noose with which you choked those pleading for your help. You closed our nation’s borders to the desperate, vulnerable, and hopeless. To a million of my grandmother in brown skin; in hijabs and burkas; in pain and on fire. You have murdered fathers, slaughtered mothers; you have doomed children.

You say, “America First” but you have never felt the unconditional love that is the bedrock of our national ideals. For that I pity you. 

Where do you think the suffering people of Syria will go? The people of Iran? Iraq? of Libya, Somalia; of Yemen and Sudan? They will die. Or they will kill. And either way they’ll swear eternal vengeance on the United States of America—as well they should. Or did you hope that you could outsource genocide?

Mr. Trump, my grandmother was a refugee. Your mother was an immigrant. And it would do you well to keep in mind that Lady Liberty—whose flame now emanates our great United Shame from sea to bloody sea—was an immigrant, too.

“America First.” But you have never loved us. For that I hate you.

Your declaration of war on people of all colors is a declaration of war on America herself. Your walling-off of us will be our suffocation. You, sir, are the radical terrorist.

Mr. Trump, my grandmother was a refugee. My family’s blood has fertilized the flowers of Auschwitz.

You would make flowers of us all.


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