Tuesday Poem: Immigrant Song, by Sugu Pillay

Immigrant Song

no, I will not hijack your life
though I climb every mountain
ford every river
cherish every taonga
this land holds sacred

no, I will not plant a bomb
on the banks of the Avon
though willows weep over waters
too shallow to drown

no, I will not bring Avian flu
to this fair far-flung land
though I flavour my food
with spices from Asia

no, I will not steal your thunder
though you rain on my parade
play political games
impale my tongue

no, I will not say
Canterbury, take my bones
no, not till I’ve seen
the fabled nor’west arch
streak across the sky
a new covenant
for this other Eden

Tim says: Sugu Pillay is a poet, playwright and short story writer. She’s currently focusing on writing plays, and I enjoyed her play “Serendipity”, which I saw at BATS last year.

“Immigrant Song” is one of three poems by Sugu that I included in JAAM 26, which I guest-edited. I too was an immigrant to Christchurch, although, as an immigrant with white skin (and, to be fair, a 2-year-old), my experience was somewhat different.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems at the Tuesday Poem blog.