Issue 5,  Poetry

Refugee Children by Mori Glaser

A small refugee child hides inside her head 
holds on to the horror she brought in the small leather suitcase 
that was placed in her hand when she last saw home. 

Years stop by – smile at puppy fat – no wrinkles in her mirror. 
She orchestrates a motley choir 
sharp eyes claim friends and enemies as her own
mother daughter sister or god forbid lover. 
We atone for being born safe in a new era. 
Attached to the fate she escaped a lifetime ago 
she changes the world one breath at a time
til another day has passed in the Promised Land without her parents
who she left at a train station when her father the hero sent her away
to stroke her pain as she used to stroke his bald head
as her mother stroked her sleek hair
before their warm corner of the world was set on fire
and one train took her to an unknown place 
while another train took them to a place she would never know
but in the small dark hours still sees so vividly. 

Another refugee child lives inside me
tugs at my hand, wants to go home 
peeps around corners to see who’s there
calls out to shadows from half-imagined memories 
Take me back to our places which I have never seen. 
Give me back the life that was taken from you.

In daylight I resist my ghosts 
polish their mementos of silver and wood
hang their pictures near my own in case I forget
and start to live their uncompleted lives. 

At night restless spirits find my dreams
want to lead me toward their light. 
Go sleep now I tell them. No train will come 
to take me to a dark unknowable place.
Each bright morning I spend on this earth I wake from my past 
as I never quite wake from theirs. 

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Mori Glaser grew up in Britain and moved to Israel 35 years ago. She has blogged and written for non-profits.

Since the age of 60, Mori’s poetry and flash have appeared in various journals including: Eunoia Review; UnbrokenAkashic Books web series ThursdazeVine Leaves Literary Journal coffee table collection of vignettesBetween the Lines Anthology of Fairy Tales and Folklore Reimagined; The Molotov Cocktail’s 2017 Shadow Award (3rd prize).

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