Michael Farry

We Are All Refugees

We have a rough notion of the best route,
a vague trail through unknown country,
one halt site to another,
each just a starting point for the next excursion.

We leave behind so much with every move.
A luxury is anything we cannot
carry with us. Our path
is littered with remnants of forsaken keep-sakes.

We have learned to abandon those who die,
lay them to rest in quick graves where
they fall, among strangers,
unforgotten signposts on our final journey.

We have a history of homes, scarcely homes,
hollows where we halted, where you
might find a hint of us,
children’s clothing, empty tin cans, barbed wire.

We dread to hear the whisper of resentment,
the rattle of intolerance,
threatening desolation,
the overthrow of everything we’ve built, you’ve built.

We still believe that there’s some place ahead,
a kinder place where we can hope
to settle, start to build,
display our household relics, family photos.

Michael Farry, a retired teacher, writes poetry and history. He was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions 2011. His first poetry collection, Asking for Directions, was published by Doghouse Books, Tralee, in 2012. His history book, Sligo, The Irish Revolution 1912-1923, was published in 2012 by Four Courts Press, Dublin.

Michael Farry, a retired teacher, writes poetry and history. He was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions 2011. His first poetry collection, Asking for Directions, was published by Doghouse Books, Tralee, in 2012. His history book, Sligo, The Irish Revolution 1912-1923, was published in 2012 by Four Courts Press, Dublin.