Born on the border.

I wasn’t born on the border, but I’m thinking of using this poem I wrote in my memoir. Do you think it appropriate?

 

Born on the Border

Where do I belong

in this civilization

where I appeared on

a map’s imaginary line?

 

My ancestors came from abroad

with their desire

to put intolerance to bed,

to make a better life.

 

Do I belong

to the genetic heritage

of my ancestors,

the countries they came from?

 

What allegiance do I owe?

Where should my loyalty go?

People born here long before me

had no right to choose at all.

 

No matter that I’m a breed –

Italian and Russian Jew.

My skin is white,

but if I had a tint of red

 

or brown, I’d be second class.

My skin color affords me

rights easily lost

when the law points a finger.

 

Our country’s freedoms

are unequaled in this world,

but Justitia’s scales of truth

and fairness are weighted by gold,

 

the color that lifts her blindfold,

realigns her mission

from the stage of equality

to the parlors of a wealthy few.