Born in Ireland where history still teaches
Appalled by an Irish-American unkindness to refugees
This amnesia that we were them, forced to leave homes for fear and hunger
That’s why all our old songs are sad
Upon hearing an Irish descendant hijack our past
To justify America now
Creating enemies of the poor on this planet
Vilifying workers rights, healthcare, education, evolution, environment and ethics
Their blind encouragement of violence foreign and domestic
Their solemn thanks to a veteran for what they call service
Whilst denying them a home and care on return
Constantly lining their own pockets
Spitting America is great again and again
Makes me want to puke and scream
Your place at this table was paid for with refugee blood
We were cursed by an empire
Fucked royally by christian civil wars
Cannon fodder from the moment we landed on any shore that took us
So your task is to shoulder that door open not to build a wall
Keep your fires lit and food in the pot
Welcome the strangers that you’ll come to know
Today we are Mexican, Syrian, Brown, Black, Poor, Women, Children, Homeless, Gay
Because our place will always be with the underdog
Until there are no refugees left on this planet
Because we like all battered people
Know where the shadows lie

© Peter Nolan 2017


2 thoughts on “Refugee

  1. Clare Horgan

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I finally found two pieces of the three bits of the post-it on which you wrote your website and tel no which was battered and split from being carried around in my passport holder unknown to me for the past year or so. If I am correct and I have the right man, I want to thank you and your partner from the bottom of my heart for your incredible kindness that afternoon in New York when I was totally lost geographically and otherwise and finding New York a step too far for me. You were incredibly kind to me and this helped me to regain a grip on my self respect and I don’t know if you recall but I sang a verse of a sean- nós song and somehow it calmed the panic in me. I know nothing about either of you but would love to meet up again and thank you both in person. I am based still in Southern Ireland and still working towards an artists visa to tour in the US. Much has happened and nothing has happened but life goes on with me and sometimes without me. I love your poem about the refugee and I am glad that I didn’t know that day in the cafe when we met, that you were a brilliant writer, as I was intimidated enough by the grandness of New York. However, It comes as no surprise to me. Either way I knew you were no regular 5/8th. You were to the point, (is the word terse?), kind and warm and for that again I thank you both. I am a writer but I have been blocked for over a decade and tonight your poem inspired me to write again. This time it was a short story about the two of you. I can email it to you if you like. Mile Buíochas díbh
    Clár Ní Argáin

    1. Peter Post author

      Hi Clare of course we remember you and thank you for your kind words. I’ll contact you via your site.


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