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November 1989


my parents after the war

uprooted themselves from their homes

to plant anew their lives

in fertile, foreign soil

strangers in a strange land

now their home

having grown up much

in “the old country”

it came with them to the new

an island of familiarness

in a strange, foreboding sea

finding a place for themselves

among others of their “home”

“the old country” lived on


and I was born

that entity proclaimed

“first generation Canadians”

still tied to the last generations home

(I still recall church services

spoken in Dutch

to a congregation after lunch

or of Sinter Klaus

celebrated on the fifth

so that Christmas

all could worship our God


I, of two worlds, must live in one

I too an immigrant

like my parents

they from Dutch to Canadian

I from Dutch-Canadian

must drop the Dutch


My Parents After the War
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

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