Escape (Poem)

By William Pitt

By William Pitt. This poem is part of our December 2012 and January 2013 focus on Asylum Seekers.

Step – step – step –step –

the world is much too large;

I think I can see the end of land

but there’s always more and more;

why not sit down and count my thoughts?

How wonderful to take the weight

out of my feet and laugh at it.

This is one possession I would happily lose.

But it shall not be!

The engine in me keeps turning over

and drags me forward into the sun.

Step – step – step – step –

if only I could throw away the ballast

that makes my shoulders cry in pain;

then I remember –

it is my youngest child

and I will give my blood to save her.

She’s very quiet and stares into eternity –

the lack of nourishment plays in her eyes.

She still welcomes the air with every breath,

the spark of life is strong and feeds her spirit.

Step – step – step – step –

the world has lost its sense;

the terror in my recent past has shown

how ordinary people can be seized by madness.

By now the ashes of my home

will be dispersed around the country;

the labor in my fields is ridiculed,

the crops are cut by heavy army boots;

my sister didn’t listen when I urged

to hide in our secret place from childhood –

they forced her body open many times

before she was allowed to reach the other world;

didn’t they know that our husbands

were fighting somewhere else as soldiers?

They should have been afraid of punishment;

but nothing made them care about tomorrow.

And now – it all has come to walking –

Step – step – step – step –

we have to find a place of sanity

before I and my youngest child rejoin my sister.

Already on this journey

my two older ones have stopped and said

they loved this piece of earth and stayed behind.

I have a feeling they’re happy now –

their spirits talk to me and watch their sibling.

I need your help!

My body wants to scream and break

why do I have to climb a thorny mountain?

Spikes are piercing into my skin –

but I will not allow the night to triumph!

Step – step – step – step…