© 2018 by Simon Williams. Created with Wix

Poem of My Own Migration

 

I am English.

My mother, from a family of thatchers,

born of a Major and an English Rose,

married a man from South Wales

who moved from the coal fields

to make himself, as an engineer

in London, in the Fleet Air Arm.

And now we say they shouldn’t come.

 

I am Welsh,

my father, his father, too,

most probably their mothers,

taken from the stock that fought

guerrilla wars against the French,

made them set their castles down.

And now we say they shouldn’t come.

 

I am Norman,

my name says I’m one of

William’s men, who took the

Eastern counties but never cleared

the Western hills, looking out to Ireland,

protected by the sea.

And now we say they shouldn’t come.

 

I am Viking;

Norman is the French for those

who took the land of Normandy.

This is Norse for pirate raid,

each strong-armed longship crew

going on a ‘viking’.

And now we say they shouldn’t come.

 

I am German,

from the plains and moving north,

finding more grass to feed stock,

fjords to harbour boats,

good fishing in the deep, deep cuts.

I take a living where I come from, where I go

and now we say they shouldn’t come.

 

I am Assyrian,

as some have said the Germans are,

or Greek, Italian, Mesopotamian.

I come out of the Middle East

and Africa, half the world of it,

where people first became tribes

and now we say they shouldn’t come.

 

I am of the Great Rift,

the broods of man-apes,

migrating where gathering is good,

where food is more than here. I am of

the Serengeti, I climb the catechu,

stare to the horizon. I know sometime

we will come there.

copyright © 2015 Simon Williams.

First appeared in Writers for Calais Refugees, 2015

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