Miki Byrne’s poem attempts to get inside the hearts and minds of those who are forced from their own countries. Illustration by Podessto.

Meet me at our crossroads, where the twisted oak
throws shadows, and leaves whisper old songs
of the people who made our past.
We shall travel to Calais, board a heaving ferry,
watch white cliffs ghost England into our eyes.
Tread hopeful beaches, push into our new land
like roots that ease away soil, gripping firm
within earth’s green breast, to fasten and fix us
deep into different ground, where we may step up
to promise, a future, new life and you will hold my hand.
Cradle me in your heart as you reside in mine.
With memories, language, past lives packed away,
used within our own space, private times,
when we shall weave memories,
offer each other comfort in homesickness,
the struggle to integrate, to work.
We will embrace our new country, make a home,
a retreat, a haven, leave behind cruelty,
the shackles we will shed.

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