Thirteen Ways to View Immigration

Poet Wallace Stevens wrote “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” as a way to examine and explore perspective, not just for a common bird but for people and issues alike. In the poem below, Val Lozano looks, wonders, and asks what are the different perspectives of immigrants.

Thirteen Ways to View Immigration


A mother

Bearing three children

Seeks refuge




A son who needs to support his family

How will he get the funds

When will he send money home




A desire for a “better life”

Where will she accomplish this




Her family is leaving

She doesn’t know how they’ll get there

She doesn’t know where they’ll go

But they are leaving





He tried to leave

He couldn’t

They caught him

Maybe next time




Everyday is a constant worry

The stares

The whispers

The faces





I see the pain my parents go through

I see how much they miss it

I see how badly they want to go back

But they can’t




She’s one of the lucky ones

Blue eyes

Blonde hair

Pale skin

She got lucky




My dad didn’t speak the language

My dad didn’t know the people

My dad didn’t know how he’d do it

But he made it happen




I know my dad misses his mother

I know he misses his family

I know he misses his home




My mom remembers it all

The smell

The views

The people

All the time that passed

And she still remembers it clearly



I will forever try my best at what I do

Not only just for me

But for the sacrifices my parents made for me

All their suffering didn’t go unrewarded




My dad will return one day

Not today

Not tomorrow

Not in a year

But he will


Wallace Stevens: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Link