My family and I were refugees from Soviet Russia’s invasion of my parents’ homeland Latvia. My heart goes out to all refugees, particularly those who have had to flee from Ukraine because of the invasion of their homeland. Very little has changed in the last 78 years. For that matter, too little has changed since the Bolshevik Revolution that happened in Russia in 1917. Different dictator, same brutality.
This poem, by Latvian poet, Velta Toma (1912 – 1999) speaks to the soul of a Latvian refugee. To refugees anywhere.
This diaspora happened in the same year Ms. Toma composed her poem.
Bēglis Aiz manis tumsā zūd ceļi, deg mājas, un sagrūst tilts. un visi dzīvie kļūst veļi. Kā vēju vajāta smilts es klīstu pa svešām vietām bez darba, dusas un cilts. - Velta Toma, (1944) The translation is my own. Refugee Behind me, the road fades into darkness, my home burns, the bridge collapses And all we living become ghosts. Like a wind-driven grain of sand I drift through foreign lands without work, without rest,without kin.