An Attempt at a Poem: “A Country That Exists Only On Paper”

As the news reporter condemns “the boat people”, your uncle continues to work in the building industry despite his visitor’s visa.

As the student group of feminists holds their meetings during lunchtimes, your cousin marries a man she has met online, for marriage is her only chance at a better life abroad.

As your father struggles to understand the real estate agent’s Australian accent, your mother negotiates with the conveyancer in her mother tongue.

As your teachers lecture you about the rigorous final examination regulations, your classmates at the community language school receive tutoring sessions from your teacher, where they learn the contents of the examination itself.

As you sign the zero-tolerance workplace harassment and discrimination policy, the supervisor forbids the girls from lifting heavy baskets and instructs “the men” to take out the rubbish bins.

As you take your oath of allegiance to Australia, you become a citizen of a country that exists only on paper, for every migrant carries a whole world with them and they are permitted to never leave it.

Thank you for reading this post! I would love to hear your thoughts on anything that I write about – after all, why else would I publish my writing online, if not for the hope of someone reading it? 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below or on berta.karaim@gmail.com! 😉

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3 thoughts on “An Attempt at a Poem: “A Country That Exists Only On Paper””

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