Without Shelter

 

You disapprove.
I think of the refugees.
How can I complain?
You do not look at me.
I think of the refugees.
How can I complain?
You do not speak to me.
I think of the refugees.
How can I complain?
You do not wear your ring.
I think of the refugees.
How can I complain?
You leave.
I think of the refugees.
How can I complain?
You don’t call.
I think of the refugees.
How can I complain?
When will this scale be tipped
so I can feel what I feel
without guilt?
You don’t come home.
I think of the refugees.
Sometimes we’re all
without shelter.

 

 

DeMaris Gaunt
11-19-15

About this poem:

With the current refugee crisis, I find it so conflicting to embrace my own occasional feelings of sadness or uncertainly.  There’s nothing in my life that compares to the plight of the masses who have fled their country to escape terrorists, and have lost everything as a result.   As good as my life is, and as grateful as I am to feel safe, I still sink into moments of melancholy and doubt, and I struggle with guilt for not existing in a constant state of gratitude.  But the truth is, I don’t think it’s helpful to be constantly coaching myself back to a state of joy.  Joy is out there, and it can wait.  I say feel what you feel.  Sit with those feelings and get to know them.  They want your attention for a reason.  They have as much power and purpose and value as your gratitude.

2 thoughts on “Without Shelter”

  1. I’ve basically decided not to feel guilty. No matter how bad things get in my life, there are still billions who would love to have my life. I do what I can. I can’t help everybody, or save everybody. However, if I feel guilty about having a secure roof over my head, plenty to eat, and a safe, peaceful life, especially when I’m sad, I’m no use to those who need me, and it will take me longer to get back to my usual self.

    It’s really hard, because there’s a lot of guilt available, but at the same time, I have to allow myself my feelings. Our feelings are an important part of who we are, and without them we couldn’t grow as people and learn from the tough times, or feel compassion for others.

    For me, it’s just about acceptance. I don’t know if that makes sense, and I’m sure it’s no help to anyone else. But that’s how I deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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