Migrating North, by Kitty Jospé
"In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry."
That stuff you learn in school about those geese flying south
in winter usually leaves the story at that. It's more complicated
why a creature leaves what looks like home. And what is home?
You might have been born in a place, but nothing links you to it.
Like my kids. One born in Brooklyn, another in Baltimore.
Not to mention, the Boston I was born in, the memory of my first
9 years there, with no resemblance to Boston now, 60 years later.
Where are you from? is the first question we hear when traveling abroad.
I don't know how to answer, how to explain I don't want to belong to the country
where I was born. I like the big picture of living on this planet.
Like those geese who don't say, we're summer residents of Canada, fly
to our second home in the South in Winter. No, they understand
you need to find conditions that allow you to survive. For geese,
this means a large body of water so those goslings can feed, dive or swim
away from danger. They know being flightless is risky. Like those
enslaved in the South understood, migrating North
to jobs, better food, education, communities where they could vote,
where hope feels a little more connected to possible.
How do we get to where that's at?
Kitty Jospé, retired French teacher, active docent, received her MFA in poetry (2009 Pacific University, OR) Since Feb. 2008, she has been leading workshops on art and word, and moderates weekly sessions to help people to be more attentive and appreciative readers of good poems. Prolific writer, popular reader and workshop leader.
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