Fortune’s Refugees (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 9 Nov 2019 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of tree and arch with sea view




Fortune’s Refugees


Whether this is the saga

[This Is the Saga, the announcer announces,

when the solo flute ends and the violins swell]

of three generations, in quest of freedom, unless

pioneers, then the Civil War factors

or the title asks for a sensitive treatment, of WWII…writer?

This is the Saga of Three Generations

Mother Fortune arrives, she adopts the name

Yes, call them the Fortunes, the novel begins

to have concept. “What good is your church, your God?”

shouts the son

The concertina that belonged to his grandfather

packed at the bottom of a trunk, transported

through shipwreck and combat, hoarded unhockable

through sixteen-hour shifts, punching of shoe leather

and the Blizzard of ‘88

the sad death in childbirth and the tenement fire

“Don’t I owe it to Hezekiah? No! I’ll never be a musician.

I’m going to be an actor, Ma!

Don’t you understand? This is not your world! It’s mine!”


The Jazz Age rises and a daughter wants to marry an outsider

I forbid you

“Well, fine,” she tells her father. “I won’t. We’ll raise our child

our own way. You don’t want me under your roof? I’ll go—

I’m going now.”

“No, wait!”

Hard times and crimes, an empire grows trafficking sin

Twenty years and war is won, now a plague stalks the young, yet

When she raises her eyes, factory girl, prostitute

volunteer nurse at last, reformed and refined

“Papa, do you know me? It’s your Anne-Marie.”

He burbles. Forgive me.

The end. You have been listening to





Fortune’s Refugees

Kindle cover for poetry book RattusAmazon: Buy Rattus
















(2019, Stephanie Foster)