On Reading Travel Documents. A Poem by Monica Manolachi

On Reading Travel Documents

My full name means I am still alive.
This photograph means I’ve crossed a desert and a sea to get here. 
This date of birth means beginnings are usually scary.
This place of birth means fear is always looking for a nest.
This number is someone forced to abandon their home 
and wander from country to country in search of peace. 
My occupation as a software engineer 
means I wanted a modern job, to forget about the past.
This little box means my past is not a source of inspiration.
This dot means someone was killed by a bomb.
This line means someone else inhaled toxic gas.
This microchip means my daughter is gluing a tail of crepe papier 
to form a pink rabbit at a workshop for children.
The expiration date means the school bus was halted 
and some of the pupils disappeared. 
This blanc space means I have no other wish but to feel safe.
These slashes mean birds have different names in different languages. 
These angle brackets mean these birds are reluctant to migrate.
My signature means my home is my heart. 
These stamps mean there is still a long way to go.

Monica Manolachi lives in Bucharest, Romania, where she teaches English and Spanish at the University of Bucharest. She is a literary translator and a poet. She has published numerous articles on contemporary poetry and prose, and is the author of Performative Identities in Contemporary Caribbean British Poetry (2017).

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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