Saturday, 12 December 2009

Displaced People

Displaced People
It was the usual wait, the queues formed;
She pulled the shawl round, barely warmed;
And they stood in line, in another land,
She with her husband, holding his hand,
Wondering where they would stay tonight;
In the meantime, this bureaucrat's delight,
The usual paraphernalia, the tables laid out,
And the laws laid down, never to flout,
The engine of government, taking notes.
While people shuffled by in ragged coats,
None daring to flout this law, or disobey;
So far from her home, so many miles away,
And few possessions, her clothes, little more,
No certainty of resting place, no open door;
They were displaced people, counted here,
But they didn't really count, that was clear;
And all her hopes seemed of another time:
Where was blessing here, or anything sublime?
How she wanted rest, but strangers came to stay,
Like them, were frowned upon, hints to go away;
A silent night, a locked door, an unfriendly face,
In the dark streets, no shining welcome, no place,
So she was thankful for the cave, the hay, the straw;
And who would come to this stable, see the awe,
Amidst livestock smells, upon this cold night?
A child born, cries beneath the stars so bright.

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