By Art Stamford
The refugees came to our neighborhood
from anyplace else but here.
Some tried to help them if they could,
others greeted them with fear.
They kept on coming, welcome or not –
no one knew what to do.
Give them a bed, give them a cot,
and hope they’ll muddle through.
We’re completely full up, the mayor said,
we’ve got no room for more.
Go anyplace else but here instead,
knock on someone else’s door.
But no one else had an open door –
the refugees were stuck.
No one would help them anymore –
had they run out of luck?
What shall we do? Turn them away?
Send them back to oppression and war?
We’re decent folk, but we have to say
haven’t we done all we could and more?
But in my heart a question lurks:
has hope really left the West Side,
where exiles have written masterworks,
led productive lives and died?
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