Following the recent and tragic killing of two-year-old Mawda; member of a family the Women's Centre have regular and close contact with, a long term volunteer reflects on what she remembers of Mawda's last day, and acknowledges anger and contempt towards conditions that manifested such tradgedy.
The ghost of a gymnasium
built for one purpose, prioritised for another
The stagnant stalemate between a closed past and future dreams
wrestlesly resting on donated blankets
lying down aimlessly
breathing in air as border-less as she
Scrubbing clothes in the communal bathroom sink
She flicks eyes to her babies
fumbling around at her feet
fingernails etched with dirt
Guilt bangs it's fists on the metal bars of her heart
as it swells with love, nearly breaking them apart
but not quite
love will set us free
but how can we live freely with borders as tight as these?
That force us to suffering, sacrifice and hostility
She has to save face,
And when her daughter's a doctor
and her son's running some company
You'll tell them of the violence they were forced to flee
And they'll be thankful, because they've relished their education and opportunity
As the sunshine of her children's giggles draw her back to the room
A smirk pulls at the side of her lips
and in one swift motion
Maryam lifts her girl to her hips
Who bursts spirited laughter
That almost drowns the fight erupting in the next room
She's packing her bag now
It's been three years since they first heaved up their roots
for selection, which part of our tapestry makes the cut?
And with the bag of bare essentials in tow they leapt towards the sunset
only to be left in the dark
she folds their clothes with stories unsung
that this night blows chance into the lungs of their life
for a future not so futile
They leave to meet the smuggler
A family - two children, two adults.
slumped with thirty souls in the van.
peddle flat. Tyres hiss.
Fear bubbles vomit in chest, hyperventilating
Hearts plummet, paralysed
fingers twitch. shots fired.
have you heard how this story ends?
with a police officers bullet in a two year olds head
no passport, no rights
her blood stains our hands
her blood stains our society our hearts our land
When the systems that raise us, teach us we are unequal
when the lottery of birth conceives a world inequitable
We face everyday
pulling the hand of justice from a pocket of pain
Using the fire of our anger to melt the frozen glaze
of brutal borders, inhumane policy.
She was born a refugee, and died a refugee.
Stolen from her family, her youth, her life trajectory
And with tear stained cheeks and weary eyes
We march on
In solidarity and love, we march on.
We will never forget you, Mawda.