Ellis Island

A poem by all, v.1 

Land of Opportunity (?) 
Tired, poor, huddled masses. 
Too much to see-hard to navigate. 
Blank-No direction- Open to possibilities . 
I need a compass in the midst of chaos and the void. 
If only I could be alone with my thoughts. 
Or do my thoughts follow me into the void? 
Or am I just a regurgitation of the outside world around me? 
Yet there is a sense of possibility in an expansive, white void. 
If I am outside of the void then where am I? 
Am I with others or am I in a further place of loneliness?

Ellis Island! 
So many stories. 
So many people. 
I was told that the streets were paved with gold, but when I came here, that’s not what I found. 
Hope, fear and confusion, all at once? 
A different kind of void but still void. 
I need directions, something has to guide me forever. 
Oppression/darkness/ vortex/spinning/motion/trapped 
Closed off, something I have to learn: that I cannot truly have it. 

Ellis Island! 
There is chaos in the scribbled lines of the huddled masses. 
If I were one of them, I would be able to feel this chaos viscerally. 
When I get there will I be granted asylum? 
Walk where my family did? 
Which line would I have had to stand in? 

Ellis Island! 
So many stories. 
So many people. 
A place steeped in memory. 
So many huddled crowds created a legacy. 
This place holds so much gravity. 
A meaningful game changer in so many people’s life trajectories. 

Ellis Island 
Now a museum. 
If I am outside citizenship, wouldn’t I be floating off into the void? 
Do others consider me “here” if I am not a citizen? 
I can go anywhere yet nowhere. 
I am outside yet I yearn to be inside yet I also want the freedom of being outside! 
Am I trapped? Did I put myself here? If not, how can I escape?