He has been instructed to take shelter under his mother’s cloak
and leans on the dark of her presence
listening to the vanished spray and rain outside and the occasional shout.
The dark has become solid and is no longer open jagged night,
and his sister is somewhere on the other side.
They will not know much about it
if disaster strike—
“Mum, Mum” in Arabic
and then their mouths stopped with dark.

There is no comparison, no, no comparison with my experience.

Yes, it would be obscene to make comparison even though
there were hundreds of us sleeping on the deck
of that fragile Greek ferry fifty years ago
listening to the ancient engine
pumping the distance. But,
no, there is no comparison,
don’t try.

I am. Be not afraid.” His cloak put aside,
the waves and the wind died down as he spoke to them—
so the texts say,
and their shudderings also died down.
“What manner of man is this?”
they would ask later. What father-mother,
What I am?

But, no, trust makes no comparison.
I too am making a journey,
that is all, I too wait in dark, listening to outside rain,
I too will not know much about it
when disaster strike.

I too am a migrant.

Dudley Warman

Dudley Warman lives in Bedford, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom.

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