Poems by
Shuchita Gupta

I am a refugee…

a poem by Shuchita Gupta

I think about this every single day
Why did my life have to turn this way?

Don’t get me wrong, I know I am in luck
I am still alive, I am no longer stuck
In the hellhole that my country has become
Fortunate to get asylum are only some
Here I am in a land that has accepted me
On its soil, albeit hesitantly
Beggars cannot be choosers, you might think
Yes, the war did bring me to the brink
Of begging for my life and freedom
To knock at doors of anyone who would welcome
A refugee fleeing from the horrors of war
I cannot believe I have come so far
From the respectable citizen I used to be
Before my country was thrown into savagery

Yes, I am living, and my family is well too
Considering everything my people have gone through
Yet something in me is broken, beyond repair
I find it hard to see beyond the veil of despair
I was a manager, now I work in a store
For minimal wages, to feed my family of four
Yes, I am grateful that a job I could find
Yet thoughts of despondency cloud my mind
I am afraid that my feeling of insecurity
Will continue, throughout life, to haunt me

Then there is the survivor’s guilt I cannot shake
From my mind, news from my country threatens to break
Me into pieces, each time I hear stories of horror
Of innocents dying, including young children and mothers
If prayers have some power, fervently I pray
For this madness to stop, every single day

Yes, I think about it constantly
How the senseless war has torn my country
Forcing countless people like me
To be labeled “refugees”
But I am alive, I remember with gratitude
As I set out for my job with fortitude…