I wrote this poem for everybody who came to America and feels homesick for
his or her native country.
It applies to all the world's nations.
||Though things are good for you and joyful,
You still feel homesick for your country,
And sometimes you look back in longing
And share your sorrow with your loved ones.
|Your thoughts pull you back to your roots then,
Where you were born amid your family.
You suffered much within your homeland,
But you feel very homesick for it.
||You don't know if you should go back there,
Or whether you should stay for good here.
So should you stay or go, or travel
The world, which is a human habit?
|Your thoughts keep up their mighty haunting.
You're at the crossroads of your life now,
For no one really knows the answer,
But tries to get rid of the longing.
||That longing which torments a person,
You'd like to drown it in the ocean.
That nasty longing can destroy you,
It easily does in a person.
|You need a bright idea to fight it:
Its name is Travel, it's right here now.
The plane is waiting at the airport,
You buy a ticket--hi, Old Country!
||Your longing leaves you in a moment
Because you see your native homeland;
You and your family are ecstatic,
The world's turned different and so joyous.
|And then you're homesick for America,
Your Second Fatherland by now,
So back you go again where you can
Make your own fortune with your hammer.
New York, February 1994