Reflections on volunteering in Lesvos

That woman,
the one climbing out of the sinking boat
the one with blue lips in a light summer coat
the one whose life jacket does not even float.
That woman could be me.

That man,
the one with holes in his worn out shoes
the one who has nothing left to lose
the one you saw on the six o’clock news.
That man could be you.

That elder,
the one so weak she can barely stand
the one clutching grandchildren in each hand
the one uprooted from her ancestral land.
That elder could be my mother.

That little girl,
the one too dazed to take sweets or fruit
the one not crying, the one who’s mute
the one the Taliban didn’t shoot.
That girl could be your daughter.

That toddler,
the one who arrived sick and damp
the one who was crying and suffering from cramp
the one playing happily in the refugee camp.
That boy could be our grandson.

That fisherman,
the one overwhelmed by the thousands who flee
the one fishing bodies out of the sea
the one abandoned by the powers that be.
That man could be our brother.

Those people,
the ones selling life jackets – useless and fake
the ones smuggling people in boats at daybreak
the ones who are desperate for money to make.
Those people could be us.

Those people,
the ones on the shore offering sweet cups of chai
the ones handing out clean clothes that are dry
the ones who can’t bear just to stand by.
Those people could be us.

And friends, those people are us.
We are those people.

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One Response to “Reflections on volunteering in Lesvos”

  1. Mai-Lon Says:

    Very moving poem Lisa. I like the repetition–it holds the lines together.

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