Cold Harbours for Refugees
This is no small thing,
To hold the shaking cup, while others pour the tea;
And the eyes are everywhere, except on yours.
And there is no point wishing you were somewhere else,
You were always for this time, always the waiting to be touched,
By rough, cold hands;
And such minds as these could easily make you bleed.
There is no bruising in this territory,
But mostly in the heart, that feels distressed,
There is no precedent for this disease,
Everyone is kind;
At such times that do not impinge on individual liberty.
You’re desperate for the concerned look;
You follow their progress as they disturb the peace.
Everything is flung rudely,
And you are turned over;
But abuse is a strong word,
And their time is precious;
And you are an element,
A sack of things to do;
That will be crossed off, eventually.
Time is the cold enemy,
It presses you firm into high-back ancient chairs,
It provides dull company;
It murmurs of the somewhere better than this,
And lets you out, like a skein,
At painfully slow degrees.
Consciousness is a dreary process of contact interrupted,
And your gaze is drawn to those other grey-lined faces,
Barely visible behind the grotesque masks that drugs induce,
But where is the relief?
It’s not where nights draw in,
Or in the malted drinks, luke-warm and never quite sweet enough;
But in the visits,
From that other world, of bright colours and warmth,
Where Hell is just a noun of verbal abuse,
And not a urines soaked reality.
Where faces are remembered for true, normal kindness,
And not costed for the expected paybacks.
It’s in family, where you are known,
And acceptance is taken for granted,
“You don’t have to bring me anything,
It’s just so good to see you!”
The criminality of age;
Such abuses would have a saner society crying out for retribution,
There are a million faces tilting, to a million cracked china teacups,
A million dreaded twilights, in a million dusty rooms,
And the perfect aloneness of `Homes`;
Cold Harbours for refugees.