The Worldwide Tribe by Grace Allsop-Buckler

I am Abdul,
a boy,
fifteen.
My family?
Erased
in their entirety.
Seconds stood still
emotions detonated;
confusion
my people blasted
scattered across the land,
shaking with trauma
exploding with fear
side by side
on sleeping streets.
The life I knew
shattered
in my beloved home
Syria.

I was alone,
all alone
avoiding War’s roar
footprints fleeing
and on foot
I followed.
Once puppets
now macaws
no longer caged
but taking flight
enticed by the safety,
the safety of Europe.
But I made it to
The Jungle
now one of the tribe.

I am Kamal,
a boy
eleven.
My family?
Slave soldiers
heartbroken
mother handed
a little bag
essentials
water, food, clothes
packed.
Tears bruising my cheeks
the realisation I had to run.
Brutal.
I’d become like them,
an army slave of Afghanistan.

They found me
in a sprinter van,
prayer position
pleading passage to London.
Alone I’d failed,
a turmoil of trains
brandished scars.

Shouting,
shrill shrieks
policemen strike
as we stumble, until
drowned by muffles.
Enshrouded
by chalky plumes
tears teased
throat burning,
coughing
choking
battling to breathe.
The haze
cleared
older boys explain,
tear gas.
But I made it to
The Jungle
now one of the tribe.

My name is Mohamed
I am a man
a proud poet.
Where are my family?
My people?
The men have been killed,
the women widowed,
and children orphaned
Darfur’s fortune stolen.

Together we rode the sea
to safety,
but some of us drowned
becoming prisoners of the sea
some of us were saved,
becoming instead
prisoners of the land.
Europe
“The Haven”
accepted some
but rejected most.

We are refugees
beaten
lashed,
but still we hope.
Our prized possessions,
teddies and blankets
Qur’rans and Bibles
letters and photographs
clutched to our chests
What is mine?
Mine is freedom
I write poetry
in a children’s colouring book
I have a voice and
I say no.
No to injustice,
but I made it to
The Jungle
now one of the tribe.

Thank you Grace, for this beautiful, moving poem. Grace has taken words from our blogs and stories,  and integrated them into her own work to create this poem, retelling the stories of refugees in Calais in her own way.

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