Walk of the Migrant
This can be used in worship for all ages or children’s chapel. A chime can be sounded after each stanza.
Imagine you live in a little village on a mountain.
You’ve always lived there with your family, friends.
Every day you play. Everyday everyone plays.
Every day you help out. Everyone helps out.
There are no cars in your village except for one or two every once in a while.
Imagine that his is your village. You were born here.
Imagine the rooster that runs around when you help grind the corn at the mill.
Waiting in line is fun because you and your friends play.
You’re older now. You can reach the chute to pour the corn.
Your mama sprinkles in the right amount of water to make the meal just so.
Imagine that this is your village and your life. It is all that is good and all you have known.
Imagine little by little, things start to change.
You listen to the adults talk about the trouble.
Bullies. Mean people. Stealing. Drugs. Worse.
Your friend’s father isn’t around anymore and your friend does not, or cannot, say why.
Playing is different. You have to stay so close to home.
You can’t run down the path by yourself anymore to el rio.
You try not to listen to the adults anymore. You don’t really understand.
Imagine that these are the adults of your village and they are scared.
Imagine one day when it is still dark, your mama wakes you up and says that it’s time to go.
Go where? Just go.
You’re given a bag to carry. Your mama puts it over your head and your shoulder.
Your sister says “take the clothes that fit you.”
You’re so scared but you don’t say anything because you see your sister and your little brother are scared.
Your mama is quiet and scared too.
Imagine you are leaving this home and this place you love and your grandpa and your cousins and your friends and the rooster too.
Imagine you are leaving and you have this bag around your shoulder and it’s heavy.
And you walk and are walking.
Sometimes you all hold on because you get a ride on the back of a truck with others.
Or you ride a bus. It’s a crowded and bumpy and long.
You and your mother and brother and sister take turns sleeping.
Day after day after day.
Imagine that this feels like your life now. You remember your village.
Imagine you in a new village and there is water, some food.
You don’t listen to the adults talk here either.
Your shoes have a hole. You are tired. The bag is heavy even though you have lost many things.
You are all thirsty and hungry.
More things happen, too scary to say.
And you leave again.
Imagine you leave this village where you slept with no pillow and one shared blanket.
Imagine one day you and your mother and brother and sister arrive at a border. It is so bright.
People in uniforms talk with your mama.
You sit and wait. Wait and sit.
And then you sit and wait somewhere else for a while.
There are so many people there.
Mamas. Abuelas. Children like you.
You are all shy or tired or scared. Just quiet.
Imagine you leave this place the next day.
Imagine you are in a van with your little brother, your big sister, your mama and so many others.
You look out the window and see the sky. It’s not a long ride.
You stop and get out but no one moves.
You see lots and lots of cars. Really tall buildings.
There is a house. A building.
Imagine you go inside this building, this house.
Imagine that there are so many people there.
Some people say hello to you.
They ask your mama questions.
You all walk. Your sister reads on the wall, El Comedor.
She says quietly, “comida.”
You are all at a long table. So many others.
Imagine you see a man, like your abuelo. Oraciones.
Imagine yourself, eating with your family.
The food is warm. It is good. A little different.
You and your family are taken to a room with two beds.
There are clothes are the bed, not yours, but they are for you.
You all go to a place where there is shower water, un bano.
You take a shower, one at a time.
Imagine you play in a room with other children.
Imagine this is your home for a little while, day and days.
And then it is time to go, to your primo, mama says.
As you ride in a car that someone is driving, your mama is looking at the small scrap of paper again:
Carlos. A bunch of numbers. Chicago.
You are going to a bus station.
There you sit and wait.
Imagine you are going to the place of your primo, your cousin who you do not know.
Imagine the long bus ride and how it feels like your home for a long while.
You listen -- new sounds, language, everywhere.
There are no paths, no roosters.
You miss your abuelos. Primos you know. Your friends.
Imagine finding yourself here or there, in this new land.
Imagine what it would be like for this to be your home, your life now.
To travel all this way from your little village where you were born.
What did you bring with you in your backpack?