Refugee

 

Dawn breaks with a whip of fire across the ocean.

The boatmen rise and fall upon the waves as morning takes its first breath,

and the boatmen sing.

Down below in wooden boxes they peer through wooden lines.
They breathe;  stretching cramped limbs as the cusp of  the morning  creeps through cracks,
and they pray.

The song is everywhere, echoing through the morning wind, diving into

The tumbling waves then spat out as salty spray that rises in a vapour

towards the sky.

The dead are everywhere, and buried deep in heaving arms, a brother, a child,
A too little. A Too late. They locked the gate and tried to save them; save them all.
Save themselves.

Clouds fall into the ocean and the afternoon melody becomes enclosed

within a circle of grey and white hazy mountains. A theatre of fog.

The song escapes.

A sound falls from lips as cracked as the pavements she fled from. A groan
that rocks the boat from the inside out, rising up, crashing against the roof.
Dripping like blood.

Caught amongst the flapping wings of the sea birds, the music takes flight

And it circles and hovers amongst the stickmen, floating on a

Streak of mist, facing heaven’s door.

Caught amongst barbed-wire fears, they surrender to a promise;  written
In another time, on a scrap of paper – with another language. Lost.
They surrender to the sea.

The boatmen weep and wave goodbye and the song becomes a hymn,

And the shrinking sun dips peacefully upon the sorry sea,

As the day dies and the boatmen sleep.

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