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Understanding Perspectives Outside Our Own: Reflections On Immigration & Identity Poetry

hands on fence

Something that I try to challenge myself with in every week’s reading list [click here to read prior weeks], is reading content that I don’t normally absorb on a typical day—meaning when I’m focused on love and relationship essays, I try to read about tech and design, or when I’m deep into commerce writing, I try to switch things up with poetry, etc.

This week, the focus was poetry and immigration, two seemingly unrelated topics, but both that forced me to take a deeper look at myself and how I must strive, every single day, to listen to and learn about perspectives outside my own.

Here’s a short collection of what I’ve stumbled upon, and what shook me to the core this week.

1. “In A Different Country,” by Ricardo Hernandez.

“In a different country,
I was allowed to forget

how there is no loneliness
like ours.”

2. This eye-opening article, There Are Children At The Border.

“We are obsessed, and when one is obsessed, everything around us becomes related, consequential, symbolic.”

The pressing relevance of this piece makes me feel guilty. Why is it that we only take notice of something until it really connects or pertains to us? Why do we so often lack the empathy to see perspectives outside our own? What is the larger picture, here, about humanity and how to stand for one another? Thoughts to ponder.

3. “Man and the Moon” by Kate MacLam.

“There has never been a black man
on the moon.
There has never been a white woman
on the moon.
When Kubrick faked the landing
he was apologizing
for the genocides. He said
of the astronauts,
They must be white;
they must be men;
they must be educated
at the Harvards of the Midwest;
they must have blue eyes;
they must be hairless
all over their bodies;
they must be sad but look very happy.
They must do it for me.
They must do it for America.”

4. This gripping, gripping essay about immigration by Cristina Henríquez.

“Where is my son?” she asks a guard who speaks Spanish. He shrugs in reply. “¿Mi hijo?” she asks anyone who will listen and many who won’t. “He’s five years old. He has black hair, parted on one side, and a freckle, right here, under his eye. He was wearing a Spider-Man shirt.” People just shake their heads.”

This essay shook me to the core. I have no words.

Featured Image Credit: Mitch Lensink

This entry was posted in: Reading List


Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️

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