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You Are Here

In our Tuesday Meditation circle, we are currently discussing The December Project - a book about the spiritual work of aging. Often we find ourselves discussing how we got HERE. The "here" is in the context of an older age where we find ourselves in a place where we have to accept new realities due to physical or other limitations. It can feel like a foreign land. The "immigrant" in this poem could be us.

“Norse Saga”

by Dan Vera.

“Let us praise the immigrant

who leaves the tropics

and arrives in Chicago

in the dead of winter.

“Let us praise the immigrant

who has never worn coats

who must bundle up

against an unimaginable cold.

“For they will write letters home

that speak of it like Norse sagas

with claims that if a frigid hell exists

the entrance is hidden somewhere in this city.

“Let us praise the immigrant

who fears the depths of the subway

the disappearance of landmarks

to guide them through the labyrinth.

“Let us praise the immigrant

who dreams of the pleasures of sunstroke

who wakes each morning to the alien sight

of their breath suspended in the cold city air.”

- “Norse Saga” comes from Dan Vera’s book Speaking Wiri Wiri. You can listen to a Poetry Unbound podcast featuring this poem at

- Photo by Philippe Leone on Unsplash

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