Words On Home

“no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough…..”

Home in full by Warsan Shire

I have donated to RAICES. You should too. A wealth of information on how to help keep families together, laws, and if these families will ever be reunited right here. Photos by John Moore

3 thoughts on “Words On Home

  • Reply heaether June 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing Shire's amazing poignant and powerful words.

  • Reply Genna June 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you. This poem says everything.

  • Reply Jennifer P. June 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Wow. That was powerful. This is all heartbreaking.

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