It’s 10k to the camp from school,
we go there twice a day,
and every time we wear firm smiles
and from there bus away
about 40-something kids and youth
for more or less 4 hours,
and through some language, sport and fun
these participants to empower.
But every time we take that bus -
as it turns outside the gate -
and picks up some and drops off others
there are moments when we wait…
These moments fresh and vivid seem,
they spill across the year,
and depending on the day, the night,
evoke a smile or tear.
Sometimes it’s children playing close -
dangerously close to cars -
oblivious to the speed and risk,
we wonder, ‘who’s in charge?’
These kids are small and crafty,
there’s no denying that,
so when you’re ready to depart
on the bus you’ll find one sat.
Too young to come, you’ll coax him off
or plead her to stand up:
she’ll keep up this game just long enough
‘til the driver’s sure fed-up.
We have a patient policy,
we’d rather that we’re late,
than cause distress or embarrassment,
or show ourselves irate.
But that’s just us, the authority
takes a rather different approach
and policemen resort to violence
to hasten off our coach.
Then it’s not fun, not anymore,
I can’t be glib with this.
It’s called police brutality,
and it’s easy not to miss.
I saw it coming, 20 metres away,
in the form of 6ft. 2. In Khaki trousers, leading to
hard and black boots for shoes.
The kid, around 9 years old,
was stood before the bus.
He wanted desperately to leave
and come to school with us.
That’s why he stood there, 5ft. 1,
stoic, come what may,
but plainly protesting his right
to education every day.
This child pushed his luck too far
in the eyes of the Hellenic guards
Was he really a national security threat?
Or an animal deserving of bars?
Well, quick up strode the policeman,
beheld in all our views,
and without pause or thought to law
kicked hard the boy right through,
So the whole of his little body shook
and lifted off the ground
And when he landed, first silent, then,
broke out in wounded sound.
Did justice come to this gross man?
Did court or jury sit?
And hear the case against him made?
On Chios? Don’t count on it.
But still we ride the bus each day,
witness to foul and fair,
and counter this brutality
with safety, rights and care.