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Lesley Watkins


People, both ragtag and well-attired

flee to some other place

another land.

Leaving everything they knew

owned, once loved

once a farm, now a war zone

once a city, now a pile of rubble.

Bags and coats, almost nothing

carried across an ocean

to a shore they do not know.


Victims cry, lost and forgotten. The sea hungry

eats them up.

Children pushed into rescuers’ arms

if they are lucky.

Crossing icy waters, paid the ferry man twice

once in coin

and cameras record it all.


When did we become so cold that we could watch

such pain of civilisation

and not feel moved to

change our world?

For the memory

of a child, lying

on the sand.


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