Return from Exile   

Coming to my senses…
I'm at a loss
to explain
what has happened
and what hasn't.
All I'm aware of
is loss, betrayal…
and pain.

I feel odd…
and misplaced,
like I'm waking up to a war
without knowing which side I'm on…
or what I believe in.

What language do I speak?
I hear
only haunting questions.
I see
an intricate pageant
of deception
when I close my eyes.
What role did I play?

My lifelong touchstones
have turned to sand and
Fierce darkness and
hard to breathe.
Am I now enslaved?
Or free?

I feel cut off
in solitary confinement-
without due process.
Only humiliation
and scars.

I trust no one
And am paying the price of
misplaced suspicions.
I'm under suspicion myself.

Why am I here?
and where are all the others?

Unmasking, stripping… and
A relentless internal debriefing.
When will there be a softening of this vigilance?
When will I be able to rest?

Have I defected?
I'm blacklisted…and shunned
beginning with the merest whisper of disloyalty.
Mock trials, inadequate defense
accused, prosecuted…
I'm under surveillance wherever I go.

So, I live by candlelight
and remain at a loss
to explain
what has happened,
and what hasn't.

I review history,
and find questions,
years of dross
or worse.

O where is my homeland?
are my people?

By T., May 2004

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Comments from Readers

October 14, 2006, by M.:  "This is an incredible poem. It is absolutely beautiful."

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