Hope was all that kept us going.
I looked at the horizon for peace in the hills.
At the gate, everyone had papers.
I had nothing.
I couldn’t understand their language
but they gave me a bag of salt, a bag of rice, and oil,
one toothbrush, one soap, two buckets, I didn’t know why,
and bags of things I never saw before.
They called me Jane.
My mother named me for her mother.
My name was not Jane.
They wanted me to sign 
but I could not read this language
or this one
or this one.
I could not read this either
so they wrote my name.
These were my mother’s earrings.
I gave one to each daughter:
“Sell them only if you have to.”
The camp was crowded with strangers
and angry men.
I told my daughters to cover up. 
Finally they led us to a tent…
…for women who were alone.
There, I found someone who spoke my language.
She said “I’ve been here for years. In two years or five years
I don’t know where I’ll be. Only God knows.
“We need to survive with our children
so they can be something in the future.”
I had to be strong for so long.
Now I poured out everything to her.
It was the night before my daughter’s 10th birthday
when soldiers came to my door,
asking for my husband.
I said he died in the war.
Then they pushed me aside.
They threatened to take my daughter for a bride.
I screamed, “She’s only nine. Take me!”
As they forced me to the bedroom, I yelled,
“Turn up the TV very loud.”
They said they would be back for my daughter tomorrow.
The minute they were gone, I told the girls to pack
only what could fit in one suitcase.
I took my mother’s tiny gold earrings.
First we ran, then I gave a truck driver
all the money I had to take us to the border.
Then we walked, I don’t know how long.
I couldn’t feel my feet
and I was pregnant from the attack.
She said, “There is a good doctor here,
and you are not alone anymore.”