After the Embargo

Immigration–an issue. Especially during our current political darkness. But an issue is not people. What does it mean to be an immigrant? How can we know in new ways?

I’m also thinking about us all. I’m thinking that we are immigrating every day–where we live, in what we do, even at home. Daily we’re immigrating our way into nations of others and other ways, adapting and adjusting and hoping to be welcomed, perhaps assimilated. It’s precarious: we can be extradited. We deeply want to be neighbors.

The shift from identity as immigrant to neighbor is poignantly revealed in the new anthology, Immigration & Justice For Our Neighbors, edited by Jennifer Clark and Miriam Downey.

The proceeds from sales of this important book ($10) benefit Justice For Our Neighbors, a ministry of hospitality that welcomes immigrants into our communities by providing affordable, high-quality immigration legal services, and engaging in advocacy for immigrants’ rights.

The anthology is valuable not only for the individual reader, but also for those teaching applicable courses, leading workshops, etc. To order email kzoo_assist@jfonwestmichigan.org or download and use this order form.

After the Embargo
Let in. Let out.
Make sure to send
the cigars. We must

have the cigars. And a
baseball player or two
or three. And Cuban

sandwiches. The music
has been here for
a thousand years. It

never needed a heartrending
raft to land on the sand.
It came the way music always

does. And now we sigh and
hope that never again along
the Keys’ haphazard shores

will a sea-soaked, ragged,
salt-enameled soul be dragged
to jail to wait, and then to wait.

–Jack Ridl
First published in Immigration & Justice For Our Neighbors (Celery City Books)

12 thoughts on “After the Embargo

  1. So sad that it still just keeps happening, off Cuba, off Libya, off……..

    Thanks for this and for letting us all in on this book.

    • Whew, I am so glad you read the poem in that light, Norbert. I have a stance that
      my “political” poems will attend to those being affected.
      Thank you!

    • Thank you, Jack. This means so much to me. There is a sculpture in Key West
      created from each madly cobbled together “raft” that somehow made it to shore.
      Wishing you and Lee the delights of Spring in your every day.
      Jack

  2. I look forward to the day when our differences are celebrated rather than misunderstood. I look toward the day when the predominant rhetoric exposes what it is that unites us……………………..

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