Holding On And Letting Go

It’s not because she loved him

That she held the stranger’s hand

As she stepped aboard the Gallant

Which would take her from the land

Where the nightly cold and hunger

And the daily war and tears

Were all she’d ever known about

For all her 16 years.

It’s not because of longing

That she watched the coastline fade

As the sounds of need grew silent

Beneath the ocean’s serenade,

And it wasn’t to remember

That she fumbled through the sack

That contained some dirty souvenirs

The few she’d time to pack.

She held and she remembered

And she watched and she was sad

To lose her lonely, painful home:

All that she ever had.

It wasn’t for nostalgia

That she spent her many nights

Remembering the land of famine

Where she had no rights

Even though she had a new home

In a land of peace and rain.

It was simply that she knew

She’d never see that home again.

She held on and remembered

Before she slept, and she was glad

To now be somewhere better

Than the only home she’d had.

The refugee became a nurse

By the time she was all grown

In the only land of promise

That she had ever known.

She helped the people coming

From the homes they left behind

Who, like her, were forever

With their homelands intertwined.

Still she held on and remembered

To now distant fear and strife

And she turned her eyes to helping

Others make a better life.

She never knew the gentleman

Who held her hand that year

With the eyes that stared uncertainly

At his passing drawing near,

But she whispered to him gently

Through the hours of the night:

When you leave a home of pain behind

You’ll go somewhere alright.

He held on and remembered

And saw and understood

And closed his eyes and sailed off

To somewhere that was good.

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