I can’t swim
But still we swim away
Through choppy waters, colder than I’ve known
Far away from the ivory and oil,
From the machetes and men of blood.
I was born dusty as the floor beneath my mother’s bed
Many men had her there.
And I hated them.
But she taught me to look beyond our walls,
Beyond the cutting hours, and to reach through the dark
Into the light, to other lands
So my grip is tight
And my sight is set on fat green fields,
On warm people and cities of gold and glass
I swim forwards, arm over tired arm
To dream to arrive,
But the water is cold.
- by Kisa Omar