Last year we sold up and flew to England. Packing made me think of the challenges of not having a home at all. Although we have a base in London we will be returning regularly to Australia. We have such privileges and freedoms. There are millions of refugees – with no choices, no security and little hope for the future.
Early rising, I raise the blinds before the night has fled
And contemplate the lightening sky from the soft warmth of my bed
London now illuminated by a wintry weakened sun
Makes promise for the journey of my spirit home
We trudged in mud with mistletoe just hanging out of reach
Gloves and scarves and catching up with words and whitened breath
Eating lunch in a country pub, mulled wine and local laughter
This is home, is home for now and many weekends after
I love the hazing white blue skies, the blazing jacarandas
Glimpse of sea and sand through bush from corners of verandas
Companions carved from years of seeking shared humanity
Comrades for conversation on ideological inanity!
So leaving has been elastoplast stripped from sunburnt skin
But here is history and memory and the stronghold of my kin
Mince pies, mah jong and music, family and old friends
These days are new beginnings, we are joining up loose ends.
All they can carry on their backs or makeshift carts
The wheels leaving tracks ever fainter in the dark
A cooking pot, a rug, as many clothes as they can wear
The remnants of a life, just going anywhere.
Children not in school, babies not in bed
Women struggling every day to keep their families fed
Men without purpose, defeated, seeding rage
A rootless generation in our so-called prosperous age
This is not my story, I can barely understand
The depths of deprivation, caused by others’ hands
I had a ticket in my pocket, they have no papers and no rights
But now I’m cosy and I’m settled – and they are out of sight.
Keep refugees visible