Generation Emigration

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens abroad

Poem: The Return

‘Indifference greeted his smouldering announcement/ stoking his unresolved anger of having to leave home.’

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 10:00


Bobby Gilmore

Noisily he made his haggard way
down the corridor to the departure gate
his gimp exuding anger.

Taking a seat he announced under his breath
audible for those near to hear
that he had travelled halfway round the world.

Expecting welcoming attention for his emigrant status
or even an inquiry of where he had come from
indifference greeted his smouldering announcement
stoking his unresolved anger of having to leave home.

Now, needing a welcome there was none.

He felt a reject,
just a number robbed of selfhood
trying to grapple with loss and change
between Australia and an Ireland that
he imagined was home
but no longer was.

Bobby Gilmore is president of the Migrant Rights Centre in Dublin. Read his previous articles for Generation Emigration about the meaning of home, valuing emigrants, and more.

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