by Timmy the Intern – Poet Laureate of Terminal Context
The Refugees of Charon
My land is full of blown-up dust, and gunfire shredded homes.
I surely cannot remain here, yet I am unwelcome where I roam.
My legs are sore, my purse is empty, my spirits they are flagging.
My home is gone, my arms are numb, my feet so tired they’re dragging.
Finally I see a hope, a boatman lies in wait
To take me from these war-torn lands and provide a better fate.
Charon takes my penny, and sits me in a dinghy,
“we paid all our savings for this, don’t you think that stingy?”
He pushes us forth gleefully, counting out his coins
I can feel a tiny leak between the dinghy’s joins.
“Then just bail the water out.” Charon counts and grins
and we bailed the water out with spoons and cups and things.
But then the weather turned a bit, the ripple turned to wake
the wind began to whistle past, flicking Charon’s cape.
He said “This will get us where we’re going much, much quicker.”
and I gazed beneath his hood and saw a frightful skeletal figure.
“I thought we were off to Europe? You tricked us, you lied!”
he said “How long do you think it’s been since the last boat of hopefuls died?”
How dare I want a better life? How dare I escape the war?
How dare I not simply accept the misery we’ve all been in before?
How dare you not take responsibility for your intervention?
How dare we blame your foreign policy? Does it not deserve a mention?
How dare we believe in a global world, when globalisation is for brands?
How dare we have the audacity to reach out our withered hands?
How dare we beg for charity? How dare we ask for better?
How dare we chase opportunity like a relentless go-getter?
How dare we interrupt your speech with sordid foreign tongues?
How dare we ask you take good care of our infirm and young?
We forgot, these things are for your people, not for ours.
We are simply pawns in games played by superpowers.
Charon carries bodies not to Europe, but to death
and will you only be satisfied when none of us are left?
The Styx is yours, you own this gruesome river of dead souls
in lament, myriad people who will never achieve goals.
Not bodies, dummys, not people, dolls, we were never human.
Your enemies now seeming right – your selfish greed now proven.
We don’t want your benefits, your healthcare or your wife,
we simply want an opportunity to live a normal life.
As we swim within the Styx, among the tortured moans,
among the broken spirits, it’s just like being home.
You focus only on what we want, not on what we can give.
You prefer us in this death, than if next to you we live.