October 2, 2023

Vesna – the refugee

This was written when I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia and I was working alongside other new Canadians. One of the couples there were refugees from Bosnia. The lady’s husband told me that they had chosen to come to Halifax because his wife wanted to be able to touch the Atlantic as that way she felt she may still be connected to what was once her home.

I stand on the eastern most tip

And face the Atlantic

Grey tears on my face

Join the brine at the base

Of my feet


Home is somewhere

Far, over there

East of Europe

Abandoned by hope

And my heart


This grey-pebbled beach

Is as close as I can reach

To that part of the world

From which I was hurled

By their hands


The wind whips at me

Shrieking why can’t you see

Your home is here now

You are safe now

Fall on your knees!


But my heart’s in turmoil

With love for the soil

Of mere lines on a map

Now, ripped into scrap

By their arms


And yet I touch the Atlantic waves

Hoping some contact is made

Upon another shore

Where I stood once before

With different feet


Pleading with the tiny drops of water from here

To travel and tell the tiny grains of sand over there

That someone in Nova Scotia

Stands on this shore

And for no reason at all, still cares.

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