Detention Playground

By Mary Chydiriotis


grey stony ground

scorched         scattered toys

ripped weeds           through cracks

the children play


moon appears in darkened skies

blinding light

waif like          girl smiling

waving                        against wire


face cupped               dirty hands

bleeding                     more

arrive              crusty blood

and excrement


what’s your name?

draw something for me

trickled tears                         on paper

brown eyes                blank


what’s your name?

369-40                       on file

approaching feet hasten

a mother screams

Mary Chydiriotis is a social worker and writer living in Melbourne. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies both locally and overseas, including Social Alternatives, Right Now, Garfield Lake Review, Offset, Short and Twisted and Tincture. Mary has worked with migrants and refugees in the community sector for fifteen years. 

Feature image: Karen Eliot/Flickr


Brolgas art work by Phoebe McIlwraith

NGALI GARIMA MALLA JUGUN (We Look After This Country) – A call for submissions

Key Dates: Submissions open March 7 Submissions close April 6 NGALI GARIMA MALLA JUGUN  (we look after this Country) Through a new editorial partnership, Right Now and Groundswell are platforming stories that explore the intersection of climate change and human rights, pertaining to First Nations justice. ‘NGALI GARIMA MALLA JUGUN’ is a series of pieces […]