Guest blog: The Path of the Refugee – Joss Abbs Brown

Joss Abbs Brown, aged 12, shares his poem ‘The Path of the Refugee’.


The Path of the Refugee

I have two pairs of shoes,

You don’t know who wore them.

So you choose one of them, just one.

You choose the one with broken soles

And tongues that are flipped back.

Now walk in those shoes.

So you walk.

Suddenly the building seems to disappear in a miasma of colours,

You stand in a land that is torn and ruined.

A man stands in front of you,

He holds a gun and starts to shout.

He flips it wildly in the air his mouth frothing,

And his eyes bulging in rage.

And just as he is about to shoot the gun

You disappear in a swirling vortex.

You now stand on a shore with a small

Bag in your hand. You shiver. You feel cold

For some reason and you can’t remember.

Now you hear screaming and whimpering.

You look behind you. There is a sea,

As unending and drowning as your problems.

People are struggling in the water.

Migrants. Refugees. People.

There is a Boat

As flimsy as the hopes and prayers

Of those who are falling. Drowning. Dying.

You sit down on the sand beneath you.

You pick a handful of it up in your hands.

Cupping it. Holding it. But it slips through

Your fingers just like your life.

It’s slipping away and you can’t do anything

But hope for help. You start to cry.

You don’t care there are eyes staring at you

As piercing as the knives that have killed

Many you love. So you cry. You cry

For your heart is torn in two. You cry

For you feel colder than those you

Know who will hate you. You cry. You cry.

You cry because you’re only human. You cry.

Yet again the scene changes.

The sand turns to a city and yet

The sand and the city share one thing.

The numbers as uncountable as they are.

The people are like grains of sand.

Swept along by life’s current just like the sand is swept

Away in the wind.

You know where you are. You don’t

Want to be there.

But you know in your heart, you walk in the refugee’s shoes.

You walk the path of the refugee.

(age 12)

 

I have two pairs of shoes,

You don’t know who wore them.

So you choose one of them, just one.

You choose the one with broken soles

And tongues that are flipped back.

Now walk in those shoes.

So you walk.

Suddenly the building seems to disappear in a miasma of colours,

You stand in a land that is torn and ruined.

A man stands in front of you,

He holds a gun and starts to shout.

He flips it wildly in the air his mouth frothing,

And his eyes bulging in rage.

And just as he is about to shoot the gun

You disappear in a swirling vortex.

You now stand on a shore with a small

Bag in your hand. You shiver. You feel cold

For some reason and you can’t remember.

Now you hear screaming and whimpering.

You look behind you. There is a sea,

As unending and drowning as your problems.

People are struggling in the water.

Migrants. Refugees. People.

There is a Boat

As flimsy as the hopes and prayers

Of those who are falling. Drowning. Dying.

You sit down on the sand beneath you.

You pick a handful of it up in your hands.

Cupping it. Holding it. But it slips through

Your fingers just like your life.

It’s slipping away and you can’t do anything

But hope for help. You start to cry.

You don’t care there are eyes staring at you

As piercing as the knives that have killed

Many you love. So you cry. You cry

For your heart is torn in two. You cry

For you feel colder than those you

Know who will hate you. You cry. You cry.

You cry because you’re only human. You cry.

Yet again the scene changes.

The sand turns to a city and yet

The sand and the city share one thing.

The numbers as uncountable as they are.

The people are like grains of sand.

Swept along by life’s current just like the sand is swept

Away in the wind.

You know where you are. You don’t

Want to be there.

But you know in your heart, you walk in the refugee’s shoes.

You walk the path of the refugee.

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