Friday, November 20, 2015

THE STARS WE ARE GIVEN

Woman, seventy, mother of two Grandmother of ten A kind face and no criminal record. Her surviving daughter and her brood Three children, dirty smiling faces They don’t know it but the rest of their life Hinges on the next ten minutes, An innocent answer to a subtle question. Still, they’d rather be playing. “The stars we are given. The constellations we make.” I’ll sign off. Middle aged man, forty five, Leg missing from knee down. Barrel bomb he says, Three years ago tomorrow As I was serving coffee in my cafĂ©. His eyes, misty, he tells me he lost his daughter that day His wife too, and even though he Has no papers, it all checks out. “The stars we are given. The constellations we make.” I’ll sign off There were two sisters, An uncle, four kids A Grandmother And two sets of neighbors Whose lives were interwoven like The fishing nets you see. I asked the oldest woman how old she was. Fifty Eight she had said. In another room I asked her neighbor How old is the woman next door Sixty Eight she had said So I asked the old woman why she had lied. She always lies about her age The little girl had said. I’ll sign off. “The stars we are given. The constellations we make.”
steve 11/2015

"This is my original, but I should give credit to Rebecca Solnit, 
who provided the recurring lines from the following quote: 
“The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is 
to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the 
imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the 
sky, the stories we tell.”
The inspiration for this came from a post I’ve seen by an immigration lawyer, talking about how hard it is to get into the 

USA through the refugee program. He said that he had a client that
had lied about her age. The poem sprang up in my mind from there.
They say the House has passed a bill that would require the DHS, 

NIS and FBI to "certify" these refugee's as not being ISIS before they
come into the country. I'm all for the new legislation. I hope the 
president doesn’t veto it. Maybe then the FBI director will get off 
his ass, get a team together, and stop whining about how impossible it is. 
Thats what we pay him for 
I saw a picture of a man with a kid on each hip coming ashore in Greece. 
He looked pretty worried, a face full of care, desperate to get his kids 
to safety. I cant guarantee he wasn't ISIS. You want a Guarantee? 
Go to Best Buy. 
But if I was in charge, and someone showed me that picture I'd sign off 
on him. On the spot. 
I guess thats what the poem is about.

3 comments:

SL said...

This is brilliant Bullets!

bulletholes said...

Yeah, thanks, but something has gone wrong with it. I tried to add some context and credits to it, butthe margins are all screwed up. blogger, for today, is broken.

bulletholes said...

Here is the additional text that has been corrupted somehow:
"This is my original, but I should give credit to Rebecca Solnit, who provided the recurring lines from the following quote: “The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell.”


The inspiration for this came from a post I’ve seen floating around by an immigration lawyer, talking about how hard it is to get into the USA through the refugee program. He said that he had a client that had lied about her age. and the poem sprang up in my mind from there.

They say the House has passed a bill that would require the DHS, NIS and FBI to
"certify" these refugee's as not being ISIS before they come into the country. I'm all for the new legislation. I hope the president doesn’t veto it. Maybe then the FBI director will get off his ass, get a team together, and stop whining about how impossible it is.

I saw a picture of a man with a kid on each hip coming ashore in Greece. He looked pretty worried, a face full of care, desperate to get his kids to safety.
I cant guarantee he wasn't ISIS. You want a Guarantee? Go to Best Buy. But if I was in charge, and someone showed me that picture I'd sign off on him. On the spot.
I guess thats what the poem is about.