The Promised Land

 

Your winters have surprised us, though the coldness of your hearts is legend.

You cannot make us leave; you will not.

This was no elective pilgrimage; we’ve been abandoned at sea and trudged miles to escape persecution for our race, our heritage.

Poverty and hunger has stalked us like a wolf through the forest; your indifference is as nothing to us now.

Chance – not justice – placed us in our country at birth, and you in yours.

We have only one life, for God’s sake; is it so arrogantly presumptuous of us to wish to live as you do?


I’m not expressing any kind of political or social conviction here;  I’m disinclined to use this forum for such a complex issue.  It’s simply an attempt to “walk a hundred words in someone else’s shoes”.   Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers.  Someone has to do it, and I can think of no better, more dedicated person for the task.  Long may you reign, Rochelle.  🙂  And thanks for choosing my photo this week.

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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to The Promised Land

  1. Pingback: Frostymandias – Friday Fictioneers | The Green-Walled Tower

  2. storydivamg says:

    With my mind stuck on Odin and his crowd, I at first took this to be an outcry against God–or the gods. But an outcry against others in a land makes sense too. Interesting snippet. I especially like “the coldness of your hearts is legend.”

    Thanks for the photo this week! It took me to some new places.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  3. Sandra, I love this. I’m sure these words could have been said by many peoples who have been kidnapped from their warm lands and brought to cold ones. At least that’s what I got from it. I love the last line. If only we had that much empathy for our fellow humans, the world would be a lot better.
    -David

    Like

  4. This spoke volumes for me.. and as you said we had similar thoughts.. indeed there is not a choice, and we need to be able to understand that.. For now I think walking in somebody else’s shoes is just enough..

    Like

  5. Sandra, your story rings true for more than a single group of people and presenting it the way you did allows it many applications. Well done!

    janet

    Like

  6. So much past, present and future packed in this and I feel that is the greatest tragedy your story offers. Marvelously crafted, as usual.
    Thank you for your photo, it offered an inspiration for the tale I wasn’t expecting.

    Like

  7. It saddens me that this can be used to describe so many troubles of the past and more disturbingly of the present.

    Like

  8. Lovely photo, Sandra… And such a thought provoking story to go along with it. Well done 🙂

    Like

  9. Really thought provoking. I’ve read it several times. Thanks for the photo

    Like

  10. This lovely/tragic. I read into it the hostility faced by asylum seekers by many in the host countries.
    (Nice pic.)

    Like

  11. paulmclem says:

    I’m up for anything which would likely annoy Nigel Farage and the UKIP loonies i.e. this. Mind you as a Scot I too am starting to feel the sting of a xenophobic media. Strange times ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. THIS is real. Probably one of your best pieces for the way you told it, with just the right dose, up till the end, really liked it, and so sincere and honest.

    Like

  13. Lovely piece, Sandra. I thought of all the people coming from countries where they fear for their lives. It’s often on TV and in the newpapers and is a timely topic. Well done, and thianks again for the lovely picture. — Suzanne

    Like

  14. “Chance – not justice…” rings so true to me. It is all one big cosmic crap shoot and it would serve us well to remember we are not exclusively entitled to our liberties. Very well-done..

    Like

  15. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Your time walking is well spent for you captured the essence of man in those footsteps. Why can we not just leave each other alone and live in peace? What is it about man that is so unkind to perceived outsiders? I do not know but do not doubt. We are our own worst enemies.

    Beautiful story, well told.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rogershipp says:

    Such aggression and power in the decisions made. Nicely done.

    Like

  17. Dear Sandra,

    So many races and ethnic groups could claim this as their anthem. Well said, well written as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  18. I couldn’t help but wonder if you had the story in mind when you took this photo? As always, a beautiful story you’ve here.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you. No, I took the photo a while back and Rochelle saw it on FB and asked if she could use it. Although I often do take photos where I think I could hang a story round it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This rings true for so many people around the world. The voice of your story is very strong and you really have made every word count. I particularly like ‘Poverty and hunger has stalked us like a wolf through the forest’

    Like

  20. gahlearner says:

    You walk so well in other people’s shoes. This is so beautiful and sad, I try to remind myself often how priviledged I am to live without war, without fear…

    Like

  21. People have always moved place to place, sometimes from need, sometimes adventure. The clash of cultures is not always pleasant. You captured that extremely well in 100 words.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      We’ve lived in several countries and have in the main been made to feel welcome. But the odd occasions when we haven’t do tend to stick in the mind. Thanks for reading Alicia.

      Like

  22. babso2you says:

    Well written Sandra! Full of feeling! Thank you for the inspiring photo and I hope that you check out my story! Be well… ^..^

    Like

  23. draliman says:

    Lovely piece. It made me think immediately of the poor people who climb on the boats and try to make their way across the Mediterranean to Italy and similar places.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, we frequently read of them being abandoned and now that the search and rescue facility has been dropped many more are failing to survive. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  24. plaridel says:

    i can relate to this. as they say, when in rome, do as the romans do. if it isn’t to your liking, change your liking. that’s the only way to survive.

    Like

  25. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers: Dawn | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  26. Liz Young says:

    This brings home the plight of the refugees of whom we hear every day in the news stories.

    Like

  27. A beautiful prompt, Sandra, that seems to have brought out quite a few stories about discrimination… interesting. I NEVER read other stories, before writing my own, and find the similar tones fascinating. Unlike you, I ran all over this topic, on this forum. :-p

    I love the way you used subtle language but clear story telling to make such a powerful point. The use of first person narrative, spoken so plainly and mournfully– yet, with a determination and strength that makes the story that much sadder. Really fantastic.

    Like

  28. Amy Reese says:

    I do feel as though I walked in someone else’s shoes. If only they could be met with compassion. Lovely writing, Sandra. Thanks for the photo!

    Like

  29. Sadly this is a history that could be applied to many races and I totally agree if people would put themselves in their shoes they would do what they could to have a pleasant family life in safe surroundings. It really is a matter of where you are lucky enough to be born. Lovely sentiments – if only the world would listen.

    Like

  30. So powerful Sandra, and beautifully written.

    Like

  31. It’s as though you place every word with tweezers. And the photo you took is very haunting, especially to women I’m sure. That stump represents so much. Writing is a wonderful thing.

    Like

  32. MissTiffany says:

    That first line was fantastic – drew me right in. Well done.

    Like

  33. Margaret says:

    This is a sobering story. So many people are landless, and not welcomed in the places fate, or desperation, or ill-fortune, bring them to. Movingly told. Thanks for the great picture.

    Like

  34. Pingback: Friday Fictioneers — Troll | Sarah Potter Writes

  35. i b arora says:

    you speak for many, great

    Like

  36. Jan Brown says:

    With so many displaced people in the world, this is a very timely story, and very well written.

    Also, thank you for the photo inspiration this week!

    Like

  37. Sonya says:

    I love the first line – great writing! How sad that it’s still necessary to write this in 2015, though.

    Like

  38. rgayer55 says:

    Dear Sandra,
    I enjoyed your story immensely. Beautifully written as always. Thanks for sharing your photo. I had fun with it.

    Like

  39. jwdwrites says:

    Sandra this was stylish as your pieces always are but I especially liked the dignity with which you spoke these words. Profound. 🙂

    Like

  40. erinleary says:

    Resolved, resolute, determined. The world is full of people who can relate to what you’ve written. Nicely done!

    Like

  41. This is POWERFUL and SUPERIOR writing, Sandra. But, of course, it would be since it was written by you. I loved it. I wish I could say more; however, everyone has covered all that I would have said. That said …. I conquer. : )
    Isadora
    p.s. Congratulations on your photo being selected. A photo that has created a great many stories.

    Like

  42. subroto says:

    “the coldness of your hearts..” Something that many displaced people around the world must be feeling. Rings true this one.

    Like

  43. Superbly written and constructed.
    AnElephant sinks into pink depression.

    Like

  44. Dee says:

    Sandra – A very emotive subject any way, but given the current climate, even more so. Thought provoking and perfectly pitched, your last line was brilliant.

    Like

  45. I couldn’t decide whether these were the words of the settlers in the New World, the native Americans, or the slaves brought to America. It fit them all in a way and didn’t fit them at all in another. But it bespeaks all displaced and dispossessed people of all time. Terrific as usual, Sandra.

    Like

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