For Those of Us Forced to Flee by Jane Muschenetz

For Those of Us Forced to Flee | Jane Muschenetz


For those of us forced to flee,  
the world is forever shrinking down
to a single question:
What can you carry? 
The suitcase of your heart closed tight 
on all the things there was no room to bring—
your memories of “home,” the snowflake moments 
of your youth, the blooming Lilac tree  
outside your bedroom window… 
a heavy burden  
saps your strength on a long journey, 
bring only what you need— 
homes can be built again, a new tree can be rooted


When you have nothing left to plant, become the seed

Ukrainian-born, Russian-speaking Jew, Jane (Yevgenia!) Muschenetz was granted asylum as a refugee to the US at 10 years old. Today, she is a fully-grown MIT nerd, mother, emerging artist and writer. Currently, Jane is working on her first poetry chapbook, “All the Bad Girls Wear Russian Accents,” forthcoming in 2023 from Kelsay Books. In 2022, Jane’s work was shortlisted for the Jacar Press Chapbook Prize, and was awarded first place ribbons in the Lone Star Art Guild Annual Show and the CAL Spring Juried Art Show. Connect with more of Jane’s writing and art at her website,