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Don’t look at me
As though I am an alien or a stranger,
Don’t let the dagger of antipathy
Fly out of your eyes.
I am your neighbor.
Don’t call me a foe, an antagonist, or a rival,
Don’t roll up your mistrustful sleeves for a fight.
I am your friend.
Don’t hold this murderous weapon in your kind hand,
Don’t deny me the right to work, to eat, or to live.
I am your brother.
If destiny willed me to be born
On this side of the frontier line,
If my parents wished me
To wear these clothes
And taught me their own dances,
Do we have to be adversaries?
If fate desired me to speak
This tongue foreign to you
And our skins’ color to differ,
Do we have to be competitors?
If necessity decided for us
To live in this country,
In the North, South, East, or West,
Do we have to be opponents?
If I believe in Jesus,
If this is my philosophy,
And my culture,
Do we have to be enemies?
No! A million times: no!
Please, look at me with new eyes
And throw away your injurious prejudices.
What do you see but a person like you
Who wants, desires, and hopes for the same things in life:
I laugh and I cry.
Just like you.
I grow up,
And I die.
Just like you.
I’m a father,
And a daughter.
Just like you.
You see: we are alike.
We are the same.
We are brothers.
Listen to me my neighbor, my friend, and my ally:
I am telling you the truth.
We are the victims of schemes,
Well planned in advance
By deceitful evil-hearted men, who wished our
Destruction to bring.
They, masters of savage forgery, dividers of mankind
Have tricked us throughout history
With well-orchestrated lies
And with treacherous stories.
These intellectually impotent criminals
Have instilled poison in your heart and mine.
Thus, by cultivating hatred, bitterness, and rage,
They managed to shape us into ruthless foes,
Into merciless enemies,
Into cruel animals.
Please, listen to me! It is true. We are brothers.
Let us therefore with irresistible will cross all frontier lines
That the past has erected between us,
Thus making divisions vanish.
Let us with supreme power, break the bonds of history,
Religion and culture and run into each other’s arms.
Let us uproot from our tormented hearts thorny mistrust
That was planted there thousands of years ago.
Let us seize ammunition from destructive hatred,
And make war capitulate.
Let us sink the cholera of bitterness
In the affectionate sea of the universal brotherhood,
Let us unite and march to higher claims,
To incomparable glory
Where peace can blossom today.
Both of us, my brother, at last, will go to sleep,
Fearless of each other tonight!
© Demetrios Trifiatis
08 September 2015
NOTE: This poem, after having been edited, is posted again because
of the acute migration and refugee problem that has been created
in Europe. Greece, my country, receives thousands and even tenths
of thousands of refugees and illegal immigrants each day. In some of
the Greek islands the migrants are more than the Greeks. Some of these
people leave for Europe where in countries like F.Y.R.O.M., Serbia, Hungary
Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, France, Italy have created social and economic problems because of their numbers. This fact prompted me, after the suggestion
of a good friend at PS, to repost the poem so as to ask from all, migrants and natives, understanding and tolerance for the good of peace! Thank you!
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