HOME – Warsan Shire
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 neighbours 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
and even then you carried the anthem under
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
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
On the 5th of September at the Famine Monument on the River Liffey, a thousand people held a minute’s silence for refugees. In the Great Famine/An Gorta Mor of 1842 to 1845, Ireland lost a quarter of its population to death and emigration.
Twelve thousand Irish people have so far offered beds in their homes to the refugees trying to find safety in Europe. The government’s first offer was to admit 600.
4 thoughts on “no one leaves home unless”
Everyone should read this, everyone who wonders why people flee their homelands.
Beautiful writing Carole.
Hearts of those standing against their governments’ self interest beautiful — I wish my writing could rise to the level of that poem. What a gift it is for these times.