A Migrant’s Prayer

Migrants arrive on Lesbos – Source: Will Rose for MSF on Greenpeace

I stand in the dark, 
the waves lap the shore.
For days now I’ve travelled, 
how long I’m not sure.
But I’m here at last, 
about to set sail.
To start a new life. 
To begin a new tale

In a land without war 
where I might find a life.
Where I might leave behind 
all the torment and strife.
The blood of my father, 
the rubble of home.
The exhausted hope 
now that I am alone.

With no safety, no money, 
no way to survive.
No choice but to flee.
To somehow stay alive
To climb on this boat 
and live out my days
With the bones of my homeland 
a lifetime away.

My choices are gone. 
I have played my hand.
I have to believe that 
when I reach dry land
I’ll be given shelter, 
that people will care.
That people will see me, 
that people will share.

Because 
I don’t deserve 
to have lost everything.
I don’t deserve 
the judgement you bring.
I don’t deserve 
to be crushed on a boat 
with so many others it struggles to float.
I don’t deserve 
to be lost overboard.
Thrown into the sea after all I’ve endured.
I don’t deserve 
to be drowned to maintain 
the comfortable lives from which you can complain
about migrants who steal
and migrants who kill
as if migrants just jump on the boat for the thrill.

I’m not a migrant, 
I’m a human being
I’m so sick of struggle, 
I’m so sick of fleeing.
So now that I rest 
in the depths of the sea
I hope you’ll remember 
that you are like me.

Two people each dealt 
their differing hands.
The luck of the draw 
and the shifting of sands
could have led you today 
to the same distant shore
hoping for freedom, 
hoping for more,

climbing aboard that boat beside me
in your search for a life,
in your search 
to be free.

Ed: You can also listen to Richard recite his poem here.


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