Sonnet for the Refugees

By Ben Hession

But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?



We who watch the television and not a war

so much, do not understand how, there, outside

our lounge rooms, people unwillingly must leave

their homes, unsure –

chancing their families to criminals to provide


safe passage in unsound boats towards

an uncertain welcome

in a vague destination, rumour says is free.

Hope that this is the case becomes a sort of income,

to buy a buoyant mettle against the worst of open sea.


No passengers knew they’d be queue jumpers, though.

Nor did it occur that they’d be the subject of debate –

human beings detained by mandatory politics,

the human cargo

of words of indefinite expansion: while we’ll casually

poll their human fate.


And yet what is illicit in wanting this

democratic somewhere?

And what dignity of ours isn’t worthy enough to share?


Ben Hession.