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.