Monday 21 November 2016


Long days and even longer nights
Rushed by out of sight
Vast swathes of lands I’d find
as names on the school map
Now pass as grains of sand upon the wind
That howled through holes
Saturating lost and sorry souls
Crushed in the back of a lorry
Stuffed like notes in wallets
Nothing could forestall its
Passage in through every crevice
Of this human haulage service
By which I made my way.

Cramped up in trucks
Herded around like geese and ducks
Crammed in with donkeys and hay bales
Slammed in their jails
Down and down we sunk
Tossed around like unwanted junk
Dampened in the holds of boats
Struggled to stay upright, afloat
But I made my way.

Money spent, papers lost
I daren’t count the actual cost
Clothes torn upon my back
I beached up like an unwanted sack
Desirous only of sleep
These islands of Greece
Offered no such peace.
So on as before
Knocking at every border door
Via Macedonia and Serbia
Through Croatia and Austria
Closed out of Hungary
Plodding through the drudgery
Slogging through the snows
The blizzards took my toes
Boots cracked with overwear
Walking on roads to no one knows where.
I continued to make my way.

On today my fourteenth birthday,
This loose tarpaulined canopy’s my house,
The sky is grey but bombless
In this jungle metropolis.
I try to stay dry but constantly cry in dismay.
I stare out across the sea
To where I want to be
With the only living soul I know
In a dream called Glasgow
I go to school, attend class,make friends and play.
I just need the chance
Some additional finance
To ensure a way to pass through this Port of Calais.

© Sheila Ash, 2016
Posted 21st November 2016

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