Viranga Perera

Postdoc at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab


Fifteen years ago today my family and I moved to the United States. I moved because I wanted out of a country at war and towards a place I felt like I belonged. It has been an amazing journey filled with laughs and smiles, tears and fears, hopes and dreams, alternate roads and unexpected triumphs. There is so much to be said about what happened over the last fifteen years. In time, I will try to explain. For now, I would like to mark this anniversary with a poem I wrote called Waiting…

They say to ruin this country is my goal
Hear people screaming that I should go home
Brown skin means get eyed by Border Patrol
In these United States I want to roam

Immigrants were those on the Mayflower
Lamp blown out and the Golden Door closed
Fence and shoot the tired from a tower
Thankful that I am not getting hosed

How the rhetoric has got me stressed
Though will be doing my best till I am rusty
This is where I want to be put to rest
Question all but my love for this country

At a T-junction why only left or right?
Want neither just trying to go straight on through
To get to that Dream without a green light
Only colors that count are red, white, and blue

At a pomp singing the Star-Spangled Banner
Waiting till I put that in my planner