My Thoughts (B) - Poem by Melvina Germain
My Thoughts (B)
Have you forgotten or do you remember, I wonder. I do remember as a wee girl smiles and jubilation of relatives arriving from the West Indian Islands. They were so happy to be here. I'll never forget that day, it seemed a burden was lifted from my Grandparents when our relatives arrived knowing they would be happier here and have a chance at a good education and be able to start their own business. It was a beautiful day and we were all basking in that joy. The love my Grandparents poured their way was phenomenal.
My relatives, I don't believe had to walk miles hoping for acceptance, they were fortunate enough to have sponsorship here and they came into a home of love. All worked out well for them, one gent is now a Scientist here, well maybe he`s retired by now, one has experienced the wonderful world of TV, another became a Principal etc. Some are retiring and their children are enjoying the gifts of this land. Do they remember, I can't answer that question, fact is they were given the opportunity to excel and all suffering they may have had prior ceased. My Grandparents had their own story to tell as they were the first ones here. I was fortunate to be born here in Canada and I say, Thank you Jesus.
This morning I rose feeling great again and sat realizing how fortunate I was to be a Canadian citizen, to have had a relatively smooth life, Oh yes many rough spots along the way. However I did not have to walk the streets allowing people to rub my head and pay out a few cents to satisfy their curiosity of what my hair felt like. No sometimes they did that anyway. More importantly I wanted for nothing, my clothes were made for me by my Grandmother, food was provided by a hard working Grandfather and love was shared by all. We were at peace, you see that`s what I remember, that beautiful sense of peace.
Hmmm we could leave our doors open then and not be afraid of unwanted intruders. A happy and peaceful life on Canadian soil. We lived in a mixed community, different races and religions and we all got along and helped each other, I remember the laughter and the welcoming of strangers, the hugs and hand shakes, great food and huge gatherings at the Melnik Hall on Tupper Street. Wow! Those were the days my friends.
I remember my Aunt Mar standing on a tall ladder putting shingles on our home, and I laugh when I recall an incident of an old geese beating up my Uncle Ben. Oh my goodness, my Uncle laughed so hard a few years ago when I told that story and I have many stories to tell all because of the safety and peace of this wonderful country. We of course can also share our issues but still this was the place to be.
This morning it hurt me greatly when I read an article of a pepper spraying incident. Refugees have been welcomed to this country and are here for the same reasons, to have a better life for all. To see their children smile and play without worry, to know they will be fed and to able to enjoy so much of what we already take for granted. We Canadians worry and we complain due to the influx of so many coming into the country, I know we do, but do we remember when our forefathers wanted entry to this country.
I watched these people walking and walking with their hands full, some carrying their children, toddlers lagging behind crying and I wonder about the pain felt in the adult bodies and in the little legs of those babies. I watch the women barely able some of them to place one foot in front of the other but the mind is working overtime. Can you imagine the rumbling stomachs filled with pain due to hunger, can you believe it`s possible for places to put up walls and not allow humans to enter. How many days can a woman walk without pain, does she have the necessities to take care of her hygiene, is she pregnant, is she about to have a miscarriage, is blood running down her legs. Can you imagine the ugly of being not wanted when your hungry and in pain. And the poor men, the heads of the family, lacking that ability to provide for their families, watching their wives and children cry out for help. What man wants that for their family, I shake my head wondering how they must feel.
We are Canadians dang it, this is the place that gives us at least a little hope. Don`t let hate pour onto this land, we`ve always been an accepting and peaceful country. At one time we rode high on the ladder of peace.
The pepper sprayer is one person who acted out and I`m hoping not to see any copy cats. I hope that person sits down and really thinks of what he or she did and tries to remember. Most of us are immigrants to this country, I say most because we know the story of the Aboriginals. Let love come from our hearts and soul and treat these people with respect, it is human to want the best for your children and wouldn`t we all walk miles to get that. Let love be the answer folks…Melvina…..
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