Refugeehood (a poem)

Dedicated to the orphaned and lost refugee children…

Taken from Photo by Giulio Magnifico.

“Be still, child,” I say, my voice hollow,

As your small curly head rises and falls

On my chest, heartless and aching.

“Still, now,” I breathe, running my pale fingers

Through the dark innocence of your curls.


Think not of the stormy waters,

The feeble boat bloated with passengers,

Your parents, maybe, an elder sibling,

Passing on the humanity bombed out of them,

As words detonated on the cracked pavement of their skin.


My nose in your business, I wanted none of yours in mine.

The moment you, alone, wandered into my life,

The one so set and stable and gemütlich,

It sent a shudder of unwanted strife,

And brought back bleary, old unheimlich.


Now we’re here, the two of us,

Just a couple hands on an old man’s watch,

Watching us, doing nothing and everything.

I don’t know, child, we’re lost, the two of us,

Me, here at home, you, with no home.


And to think that I, your guarded guardian,

Your careless caretaker, must’ve freed the raging bull

And sent its ragged truth to tear your clothes to rags

And aimed the homing missiles of its horns

To miss, by mere miles, your home now sinking in the rubble.


So I digress, “Be still, child.

You’re home now, stay.

This place, your home,

Is mine when it is ours.”


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