The Daily Wait



At night, on Chios, around the town

At quarter past eleven,

A resounding horn, a sea-borne sound

Comes crashing through the heavens.

To those that sit around the port

In restaurants quite at ease

Local men of that Island sort

That ouzo seeks to please,

They see a boat adorned with lights

And topped with three dolphins,

Come steaming through the Aegean night

From places they have been.

But just a little way away

Where lights were not so bright

Where neither ouzo nor laden trays

Did ever come in sight,

Were younger men for whom this sight

Marked months upon the clock

That might be boarded to alight

On Athens’ stony dock.

But this hope unfulfilled went

They simply stared in awe

And as they turned to campsite bed

It’s shrinking lanterns saw.

But now! As those with tickets bought

Were passing through the gate

One man with daring bravely sought

To board and cease his wait.

With head bowed low and rucksack tight

He promptly stepped head

And taking care to shun the light

In shadows he did tread.

Then up against the gate he came

Where balaclava-ed policemen wait

And racking hard his desperate brain

His nerves he did abate.

‘Ticket’ they asked with curling lips

That bordered sneering teeth,

Then held it out inspected it,

Toying with cuffs beneath.

‘Okay’ they jibed and ushered on,

our 21-year-old,

‘No, wait, your papers, then be gone’

So them they did unfold.

‘Too bad, my man, get back from here,

You’re undone by this text

Europe’s not your home this year,

Be gone, now, who is next?’

So back he slid with tears that slid,

Back straight into the gloom

And with his heart the ship did bid,

Farewell, I’ll see you soon.

Back to the camp,, back to the shit

Back to a wretched fate.

Back to the heat, back to the tip,

Back to the Daily Wait.

#Chios #RefugeeCrisis #Greece #Poetry #Migration