In the moment he decides to go (poem)

By Sandra Renew

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

 

In the moment he decides to go

he knows….

 

He knows that if he does not go

he will be killed.

He knows that when he leaves the desert and high mountains

he can never go back.

He knows that he is a boy in a faded shirt, carrying a broken-zipped bag, and that when he arrives,

if he arrives,

he will be a man.

 

He knows, in the moment he decides to go, that

he has to take a chance

on drowning,

take a chance

on surviving,

take a chance

on arriving,

take a chance

on passing scrutiny.

 

In the moment he decides to go

he knows that he will have to endure.

He knows that through all the temporary arrivals,

in all the overcrowded transit camps,

all the false hopes raised,

and long years of finding his way

to dubious safe houses

in myriad unwelcoming, foreign countries,

he has to endure.

 

In the moment he decides to go

he knows

that when he steps on board the old wooden fishing boat,

his broken-zipped bag in hand,

the engine faltering and the helmsman

blustering unlikely, expensive promises,

he knows he has to take a chance,

he knows he has to endure,

he knows he is no longer a boy.

 

In the moment he decides to go

he knows

he can never go back.

Latest

Review – Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia

By Georgia Cerni

Sophie Cousins’ book Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia is, in many respects, a proposal. For Cousins, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided Australians with an opportunity to reconsider the ways our society currently functions. Cousins aptly makes her case – while in some ways the pandemic reinforced burgeoning inequalities, it also presented us the chance to apply collectivist values to solve systemic problems.