Migrant Poem – Litter Around a Rubbish Fire

Migrant Poem

Litter Around a Rubbish Fire is a migrant poem I wrote while thousands of people are stuck between Turkey and Greece and no one wants them.

Litter Around a Rubbish Fire – Migrant Poem

First, you take candle grease and old newspaper and then,
on the frayed inkless edge,
you etch a new you
basking in buckets of cash
stuffing some in an envelope
and bet Mother's eyes light up
she runs to the store and picks Chardonnay
for his dinner
and leans back on the settee, clear

why you're now here warming dirty hands on smouldering trash,
litter around a rubbish fire.
You hear pipes and trumpets,
bright tales of the unlived beyond the barbwire,
sons with prospects grandchildren barely born women more daughter 
than mother. And you do not know why the guards won't lee you 
passage, why your child gets tear-gased why no one will hand you a 
form. But you do.

Then, you loosen the soil and water the seeds and after that,
in the glaring blue above,
you rub out clouds
erasing tremors
oiling your skin
and hedge the kids lick icecream mid-glass-scaling square
for their breakfast
and hopscotch across the slabs, clear

why the stench of burning plastic is now choking the twigs inside,
a fence opposite a police cordon.
Sandwiched, we eat ballads and legends
cousin Ali is a bank manager and drives a Porsche,
decades ago, Grandfather's brother opened a food stall and
today, cousin Malala runs a chain of posh eateries. Yet the guy with
the puffer jacket says it doesn't matter if the wire cuts it,
first wage pack, he'll do better. Of course.

For weeks, the air thins and limbo narrows and on it goes
in the sunken cheeks of them and us,
you cast the last branch,
flesh gulping flames
whispers hatching,
and wager the family homes away happy to cook meat
for every meal
and twin stories from south to north, clear

why now we strip ourselves from the strip
the slither between one law and another.
From out of ashes, we run and squeeze between
spikes and wire thorns laced along the border
to keep us out, shots fired, mouthsful of gravel but
then, we slip through and run for the hills. True, the air is sweet
and the grass is long enough to bed us. Mother smiles and
Father sips what never skimmed his tongue before.

In the end, lesser beginnings and smaller balloons
above ground just,
you kick it when it begins sinking,
hatching, still hatching
hedging that one day very soon
and pledge one day we turn in
home with silver
and yield gold at the root of our tree.




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