cherishing life's little joys

she wasn't an alien - a poem

she wasn’t an alien


she wasn’t an alien

her name was Mariela

she crossed the border alone

her children back home,

in another land

but she cared for me, took care of me, loved me –

she cried alone in her room

one night i knocked on her door

i asked her why

do you cry?

she told me about her children,

one boy was my age

how much she missed them

but needed to send them money back home

so they could have a life

and one day come to meet her

i asked my mother what she paid her

it wasn’t enough

my soul wept for her pain

i was a child but i understood

one day i was older, a girl of 18

i called her to ask how her life was now,

it had been so many years

and she told me that her boys had finally come home

to the USA

a happiness i never heard emminated from her voice

and I knew she would live a free life

i knew she had escaped

I vowed that day to never forget her

her story

the story of crossing the border

the dangers

the fear of running in the night

the fear of never seeing her children again

the fear of death

i will never forget her eyes, full of those fears

as a child, i wondered why life had to be so cruel

and Mariela held me, knowing it was too much for me

even as she wept, she held me

and comforted me

she used to bring us candies-

she would buy them every sunday

the paper bags had special treats

i still remember the happiness she gave

when she had so little

she gave us all she had

i asked her about her country

she told me her land was the most beautiful in the world,

she got me a pink t-shirt with a turtle,

i loved her stories

i always asked her about her kids

she appreciated that

i believed the world should change

i believed what was happening to her was wrong,

i am still that child

i still believe that all people deserve

what mariela lost

the time with her children,

watching them grow up,

the ability to give them a better life

she suffered much more than any person should

words feel not enough

my only hope is that

we remember and learn to listen with our hearts

instead of our minds,

like children

we are all travelers through this life

and at one point or another,

we will need each other

mariela taught me that

and so much more

i ask only that her story not be in vain

that her life be known to others

the simple acts of kindness she showed a child

had no reward

even when she suffered, she loved

what more can we learn from ourselves

we are all brothers and sisters, holding each other

on the long way home

she wasn’t an alien

she was a mother to me

she wasn’t an alien

she was my friend

she wasn’t an alien

she was familiar

she wasn’t an alien

she is everyone who seeks a better life


for their children

she is a dream now

she is a memory

but she continues to speak to me

and her words will never leave my heart

she wasn't an alien, a poem by Miriam Clifford.jpg