In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Claire Schwartz is on the line.
My family and I are what the newspaper headlines would deem immigrants. Living in a city where people of my kind are under constant scrutiny and threat has caused me to lose hope. I used to find solace in the community of poetry nights until I found myself subject to the same questioning stares there because of my headscarf. There are small acts of hatred that take place that don’t make their way into newspapers. My parents drop me off at university and their breath is suspended in the air until I text them, ‘reached alright.’ And again, they hold their breath till I walk through the front door at night.
I no longer think about my big dreams of writing or research. I pray for safety, for me and for everyone in need of it right now. Do you have a poem for this? For this feeling of being like a lost spaceship, floating with no promise of a return?
Lost in a Big Crowd and Scared