[Writer’s Quote Wednesday] Jus Soli

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

-Emma Lazarus-


First, they came and took my father away.
I remember the quiet shuffling of his worn out boots,
The oil-stained fingers waving goodbye and
My screams splattered across my brain like a dirty tattoo.

Next, they came and took my mother away.
I remember the fading scent of her jasmine perfume,
The fish stew bubbling as they walked her out and then
The deafening silence of the room.

Now, my brother and I wait our turn.
In-between tribulations and lessons learned,
We remember we were born beneath the same blue sky
And we remember it is on this soil, we all will die.

© Jade M. Wong 2017

Jus Soli is latin for “right of the soil” and refers to birthright citizenship aka the right of someone born in a country to be a citizen of that country. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking of Emma Lazarus’ poem engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Are we not all tired, and yearning to be free?

It’s always been fascinating to me how we can easily define and label ourselves as belonging to this or that country, but we tend to miss the glaring detail that we all have a birthright to live on this earth. 

Today, with the select few in power deciding for all of us our birthrights, I wonder, along with many, what happens now?


It starts with a quote, but where it ends…that’s the surprising part.

Originally an event hosted by a fellow blogger friend, Writer’s Quote Wednesday was discontinued. However, I missed this weekly dose of inspiration so much, I decided to continue it on my own.



17 thoughts on “[Writer’s Quote Wednesday] Jus Soli

  1. Jade my loveliest friend who I think knew me even before time began – I read this when you write it and its taken me a couple of days to get to the marrow of the poetry you wrote. I am deeply moved to say the least with your words – the first they came to take my father….my grandparents were new to this country I call home and worked hard to support and build a nation – but soon ignored and forgotten when race came into question – and we are often labeled immigrants when we have full birthright of this land. I shed a silent tear for those who are stateless in a foreign land and also for those homeless in their homeland. May I reblog this my dear? It’s too precious not to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my dear friend, I am so sorry for the late response, but yes, please feel free to reblog ❤

      As always, your kind and heartfelt comments move my very soul. I too feel like you are a friend from another lifetime! And I’m happy this poem touched you. It’s a hard time right now in this country I call home, but I refuse to give up on it. I refuse to give up on the belief that we can all see past race and gender and color. I hope Life treats you well, my friend, and I hope you never feel like you don’t have a home ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jade and I will, been busy too and some posts I just time them out so I don’t lose touch, like last night’s one I wrote in an ice cream shop! Believe it! Then no edits just posted it because the lights were so pretty. Life here is amazing but politics are as they are in every country, and it saddens me much, but we poets and writers and dream believers we will have our day. I have hope! and you as my sweetest friend! we never have to re learn how to talk, we can just pick up where we left and I love that!

        Liked by 1 person

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