This Is Not My Story by Yvonne Zipter

This Is Not My Story

I am weeping in the kitchen, cutting tomatoes for dinner.
My wife comes into the room and asks what’s made me cry.
They showed a boy, I sob, and then must stop because I am weeping
again. I am weeping for a boy on the news. He is ten and walking
along a caliche road. Alone. He is walking along a gravel road
in La Grulla, Texas, ten and walking in a desert, not another soul
in sight until a border patrol guard sees him. The boy is ten,
and though he wears a Batman t-shirt and hooded jacket
like any ordinary boy, he is not ordinary. Four hours alone
in the desert, a Nicaraguan boy abandoned in the night
by the migrants he was traveling with, and he is sobbing so hard,
his chest heaves beneath the face of a cartoon character. And I
am sobbing with him, crying because he is ten and alone,
and I know that fear, the fear of solitude, the fear of never
being found, though I was never abandoned, let alone in a desert.
And then the pain of knowing his fear asks all of my other pain
to join it, and I am crying for my dead mother, for my cancer,
for the way the world tries to divide me and the boy, me
and his parents in Nicaragua, because of the color of our skins.
But this is not my story. I am not lost. I am in my kitchen,
safe, with someone to hold me while I weep, someone
to kiss away my tears. This is a story of desperation,
of a boy, looking for safety and a kitchen full of light and food
and love, looking for someone to hold him while he weeps.

by Yvonne Zipter

Instagram: @yvonnezipter
Twitter: @YvonneZipter

Editor’s Note
: This poem’s conversational tone emphasizes the empathy of the speaker, bringing the trauma of understanding up from the darkness and into the light.


7 responses to “This Is Not My Story by Yvonne Zipter”

  1. Ralph Culver Avatar

    This says it.

  2. Joanne the Poet Avatar

    Wow! What a powerful poem ! The repetition is enormously effective. And this image, described just briefly, sits vividly in my mind and makes me weep = although I am not alone.

  3. richardsund Avatar

    A beautiful and touching poem by a guy whose heart, is not easily touched. ❤

    1. richardsund Avatar

      I wrote this reply.I mean that MY heart is not easily touched. I wanted to be sure that I was clear. ❤

  4. heyannis Avatar

    Heart-rending and powerful, this poem with its images of aloneness, seeking, and desperation. Thank you. xoA

  5. richardsund Avatar

    Re- read this poem again today. Really touching and profound, to me. We suffer in this world; all of us sooner or later. Sometimes the suffering of others allows to feel that we are not alone in ours.

  6. Le Hinton Avatar
    Le Hinton

    Oh my how good this poem is.

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